Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Perks

I love my job, I really do, but like life, sometimes things get tough and ridiculous.  One of the perks of being a teacher however, is the wonderful world of student loan forgiveness.  I mean, I have an absolutely ridiculous amount of student loans (mostly thanks to deferring loan payments for two years while I was taking online french classes, what was I thinking?!) so it's nice to have a little help.

The first benefit teachers can get as soon as they start working is actually for loan cancellation....awesome!  Loan cancellation pretty much means the balance of your loan goes away, sometimes over time.  The loan cancellation I am getting is for my Perkins loan.  Every year I fill out a form, have an assistant principal sign it and use the fancy stamp, then ship it off to the Perkins people.  Boom! A couple weeks later I receive a letter showing me that a certain percentage of my loan has been cancelled and a new form to repeat the process the following year.  Yes it is annoying to have to fill the form out every year, but it is incredibly satisfying watching that balance decrease each year without having to pay a cent.  

Perhaps the most awesome part of the Perkins deal?  The accrued interest is also cancelled.  I think the Perkins people are teacher lovers, or at least appreciators. Here are the details.

The benefit that actually prompted this blog post is the Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program.  After you've been teaching for five years (my five year anniversary is February 1st!) you can apply for a portion of your direct loans to be forgiven.  $5,000 for elementary or secondary teachers, a whopping $17,500 for those teaching math, science, or special ed. Once again, have someone at work validate the form, and voila. Well, hopefully voila, I have yet to apply for this one myself.

The program that seems to be the most awesome, yet requires the most time teaching is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.  After making 120 consecutive monthly payments, (that's 10 years folks!) your remaining balance is forgiven.  Amazing.  There are some catches, you need to consolidate your loans with the direct loan people and be in one of three or four approved payment plans.  Follow those rules and you are golden.  The direct loan people are very helpful in assisting you in the consolidation and payment plan picking process.

Do any teachers know of any loan forgiveness/cancellation programs that I haven't listed?  I would love to hear about anything else that has worked for other people.


Ms. Peace said...

I got my $5,000 forgiven six weeks after I filled out the application, so it actually does work! Now I'm clocking my 2nd 5 years to get $5,000 more. It really is the least the government can do for us, though... considering I've spent more than $5,000 buying classroom supplies over the years.

Elouise Tomás said...

I had no idea it was $5,000 for every 5 years! Where does it say that? This is awesome.

Katherine Fuentes-De Lima said...

This is awesome! I'm going to call on Tuesday- they had only told me I could cancel the loan if I worked in a title one school but the link you provided us w/ says its good for teachers who work in certain fields where there is shortage and where I live is deemed being short Spanish teachers!!


Luna said...

I have been working over 17 years in the FFELP student loan industry. And as far as I know it's only after 5 years of teaching to get a one time $5000 forgiven or $17,500 depending on what you are eligible. It does depend on the school since it has to be considered a low income school. The school has to be a low income school your first year and not necessary consecutive years. Here's a website so you can check if the school is listed:
You can also find more information about the FFELP and the perking program loan forgiveness program from the goverment website (applications also available):
I believe once you complete your 5 consecuitve years of teaching you can consolidate the loans and apply for the Plublic Service Direct program. One of my customers received the 5000 in FFELP forgiveness and also applied for Illinois state teacher Liam forgiveness program. That's actually how came across your blog. California also has an excusive program for teacher called APLE, Not sure how to apply but contact the guarantor of your state. Here's a comparison regarding the APLE program to FFELP program.

Hope this helps.