Federal Student Loan Forgiveness

You may be able to have your federal student loans forgiven, canceled, or dismissed in certain circumstances. Learn more about the many sorts of forgiveness and whether you are eligible owing to your job or other situations.

Loan Forgiveness Explained

If your debt is forgiven, cancelled, or discharged, you are no longer compelled to return some or all of it. Use the links below to learn more.

Under certain conditions, the federal government will forgive all or a portion of an educational loan. This is referred to as Loan Forgiveness. To be eligible, you must:

  • Volunteer your time
  • Serve in the military
  • Teach or practice medicine in specific communities.
  • Meet any other requirements imposed by the forgiveness program.

What Is the Difference Between Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge?

The terms forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge are essentially synonymous, yet they are used in different contexts. If you are no longer needed to make loan payments because of your work, this is known as forgiveness or cancellation. If you are no longer needed to make loan payments owing to other conditions, such as total and permanent disability or the closing of the school where you obtained your loans, this is known as discharge.

It’s important to remember that outside of the circumstances that may qualify you to have your loans forgiven, canceled, or discharged, you remain responsible for repaying your loan—whether or not you complete your education, find a job related to your program of study, or are happy with the education you paid for with your loan. Even if you were a minor (under the age of 18) at the time you signed your promissory note or got the loan, you are still obligated to repay it.

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