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Student Loan Forgiveness Jobs

Student Loan Forgiveness Jobs

Student Loan Forgiveness Jobs. If you’re struggling with student loan debt, it’s good to know that you’re not alone.

According to the Education Data Initiative, student loan debt in the United States totals over $1.7 trillion. It’s one of the primary financial issues that young people face, and even people from Generation X are still paying off their student loan debt. Fortunately, there are many jobs that offer student loan forgiveness, and you may qualify for some relief.

From government jobs to the private sector, there are many careers that offer student loan forgiveness. Whether you’re currently at your job or going to school, it’s helpful to know what student loan forgiveness options are out there and what you might be eligible for.

Keep reading to learn about 15 jobs offering student loan forgiveness as well as how you can qualify for some student loan relief.

What Is Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

Before we get started, let’s discuss Public Service Loan Forgiveness, also known as PSLF. This form of student loan forgiveness is offered by the United States Department of Education and applies to dozens of career paths. We’ll be discussing the specific careers later on, but first, it’s helpful to know the eligibility requirements:

  • You must work full time for a qualified employer for 30+ hours per week
  • Your loan must be a federal Direct Loan or a federal loan that was consolidated into a federal consolidation loan
  • The loan can’t be a private loan, Federal Family Education Loan or Federal Perkins Loan
  • You must make 120 qualifying payments while working at an eligible job before receiving PSLF
  • You need to be on an income-driven repayment plan

If you’re curious what jobs qualify for PSLF, you’ll find that many are local, state or federal government jobs. Jobs that are geared toward helping the community such as teachers or safety workers often qualify for PSLF.

Below are specific jobs that offer student loan forgiveness through PSLF or other programs

1. Doctor

Requirements: Requirements vary by state and program. To qualify for the Navy Financial Assistance Program, you must be commissioned before you’re 42 years old.

The first career on our list of student loan forgiveness jobs is a doctor. Doctors have many ways to receive student loan forgiveness, one of which is through the military. If you choose to pursue your medical career in the armed forces, you may qualify for the Navy Financial Assistance Program (FAP). Through this program, you can receive $45,000 annually alongside the income you’re making from your residency.

There are many states that offer loan forgiveness for doctors as well. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has a complete list of programs by state on its website.

Additional programs:

  • National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program
  • National Health Service Corps Rural Community Loan Repayment Program
  • National Institute of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Programs

2. Nurse

Requirements: PSLF requirements must be met, and some other programs require a two-year commitment at a health facility.

Becoming a nurse can be expensive—some nurses can have student loan debt of $150,000. That’s why it’s fantastic news that this is another job that offers Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Those who become nurses may also qualify for many of the forgiveness programs offered to doctors, such as military or NIH repayment programs.

Additional programs: 

  • Veterans Affairs (VA) Education Debt Reduction Program
  • Health Resources and Services Administration Faculty Loan Repayment Program
  • Indian Health Services Loan Repayment Program

3. Dentist

Requirements: Must work for a PSLF-eligible employer and meet payment requirements.

By becoming a dentist, you could be looking at upwards of $285,000 in student loan debt, according to the American Student Dental Association. Aside from PSLF, there are additional repayment programs that may help with your student loan debt like those through the military. This is also one of the loan forgiveness jobs that have state-based programs that you can look into for possible benefits.

Additional programs:

  • Veterans Affairs (VA) Education Debt Reduction Program
  • NHSC programs such as Students to Service
  • Health Resources and Services Administration Faculty Loan Repayment Program

4. Veterinarian

Requirements: Some programs require you to be a veterinarian for three years, and others are based on meeting application requirements for specific programs. You can also apply for PSLF if you meet the standard requirements.

Do you love animals but aren’t looking forward to the debt that comes along with the training? Well, you’re in luck: There are multiple programs for student loan forgiveness if you become a veterinarian. This is extremely beneficial because the American Veterinary Medical Association shows that the average amount of tuition money borrowed per graduate in 2020 was over $157,000.

When you become a veterinarian, you may be eligible for PSLF as well as programs like the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program. Some of these programs can help you with up to $75,000 per year. This isn’t just for vets of household pets, either. The United States Department of Agriculture has an assistance program for those who work in rural communities.

Additional programs:

  • Military Loan Repayment Program
  • State-based programs
  • Health Resources and Services Administration Faculty Loan Repayment Program

5. Pharmacist

Requirements: There are a wide range of programs with different eligibility requirements, and pharmacists can also apply for PSLF.

Pharmacists can make good money, but the cost of pursuing a pharmacy degree can be pricey. According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the mean cost of receiving a degree in pharmacy was $173,561. If you go to a private institution, you may be looking at over $204,000 of student loan debt.

If you do earn a pharmacy degree, there are additional programs for student loan forgiveness, including PSLF. The Association of American Medical Colleges has a database of state-based programs, and some states have multiple programs. And by joining the military, you can qualify for a loan repayment program as well.

Additional programs:

  • VA Loan Repayment Programs
  • Health Resources and Services Administration Loan Repayment Program
  • Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program

6. Public school teacher

Requirements: To qualify, you must work for PSLF-qualifying employers or teach a specific subject based on the program. You’ll also need a bachelor’s degree for some programs.

Being a public school teacher is extremely rewarding, and by becoming one, you can qualify for a variety of forgiveness options. If you’re in an area that’s experiencing a teacher shortage, there might be additional loan forgiveness opportunities available outside of PSLF. With the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, you may receive up to $17,500 depending on the subject you teach.

For the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, there are additional requirements, like working five consecutive years at a school. The school must also serve a low-income community. You can also receive forgiveness by volunteering through Teach for America by working in certain regions.

Additional programs:

7. Volunteer organization worker

Requirements: You must work full-time at an eligible organization to qualify for PSLF, but some programs allow you to work part-time. Other programs require a 2.5 GPA along with being a legal permanent resident.

Volunteering is a great way to help others, and there’s also an opportunity to receive student loan forgiveness. Some of the qualifying organizations include AmeriCorps, Peace Corps and many others. Becoming a volunteer is not only one of the public service loan forgiveness jobs, but it can also offer you the opportunity to travel to different countries.

AmeriCorps actually sponsors one of the programs, called VISTA. This form of forgiveness is for those who join organizations that fight poverty in the United States.

Additional programs:

  • Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program
  • Shared Harvest Fund
  • National Health Service Corps under the Department of Health

8. Social worker

Requirements: Some programs require individuals to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker or commit to an employment commitment of two years. Social workers can also qualify for PSLF by meeting the standard requirements.

Becoming a social worker gives you a wide range of career options, and you can also become eligible for student loan forgiveness. When people ask, “What jobs qualify for public service loan forgiveness for social workers?” they’re often surprised that they can work in industries such as health care, mental health care and community-based organizations.

Social workers can also qualify for a variety of student loan forgiveness through state-based programs all across the country. For example, Alaska uses programs to incentivize social workers to move to their underpopulated regions.

Additional programs:

  • Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program
  • National Health Services Corp Loan Repayment Program
  • Perkins Loan cancellation and discharge

9. Lawyer

Requirements: You must meet PSLF requirements, or you’ll need to meet the requirements of school-based programs.

A lawyer is one of the PSLF jobs that has additional forgiveness programs as well. These programs depend on which sector of law you choose, like the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program for public defenders. The Department of Justice also offers the Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program each year for those who have at least $10,000 in federal student loans.

Additional programs:

  • School-based programs from universities
  • Herbert S. Garten Loan Repayment Assistance Program
  • Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps

10. Public safety worker

Requirements: You must meet PSLF requirements.

Public safety workers provide a great service to our communities and are eligible for PSLF. Public safety workers include a variety of careers such as 911 operators or police dispatchers. This also includes security guards, chief security officers and emergency medical technicians. Depending on which field you go into, there may be additional ways to help pay off your student loan debt.

Additional programs:

  • Some jobs may qualify for Federal Perkins Loan forgiveness or income-driven repayment programs

11. Firefighter

Requirements: You must meet PSLF guidelines to qualify.

What is PSLF good for if some of our bravest community members don’t receive it? Fortunately, firefighters are eligible for PSLF and may qualify for other forms of forgiveness as well, including an income-contingent repayment plan. According to the U.S. Department of Education, this type of plan is either what you would pay with a fixed monthly payment over 12 years based on your current income, or 20 percent of your discretionary income, divided by 12. This is decided based on whichever would make your payments less.

Additional programs:

  • Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation
  • Income-driven repayment plan

12. Federal agency employee

Requirements: You must sign an employment contract to work for the agency for at least three years.

There are various federal agencies that offer student loan forgiveness. Some of the most common agencies include the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of State. At any of these jobs, they’ll pay up to $10,000 per year, and the total assistance given is a maximum of $60,000.

Some jobs that pay off student loans can offer this as a benefit when they have positions they need to fill, and federal agencies have been known to do this. So keep an eye out when you hear there’s a shortage of applications at one of these agencies.

13. Law enforcement

Requirements: You must meet PSLF requirements.

Law enforcement sometimes falls under the category of public safety workers, but there are far more options for different types of officers. Law enforcement positions aren’t limited to local police departments when it comes to student loan forgiveness. You can qualify for PSLF by joining any of the following agencies:

  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
  • National Security Agency (NSA)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Secret Service
  • Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

These are just a few of the law enforcement agencies that qualify for PSLF. And for fans of the TV show “NCIS,” you can even qualify by joining the Naval Criminal Investigative Services.

Additional programs:

  • Federal Perkins Loan forgiveness
  • Income-driven repayment programs

14. Military member

Requirements: Some programs require you to be on active duty, and you can also qualify by meeting PSLF requirements. You may also need to meet testing requirements on the ASVAB.

Military members help to protect our country, so it’s only right that these brave soldiers receive a little bit of help through programs like the Army College Loan Repayment Program or Army Reserve College Loan Repayment Program. These programs can offer up to $65,000 of student loan forgiveness. Some programs, like the National Guard Loan Repayment Program, are based on a certain percentage of the amount you owe.

Another benefit of being on active duty is that you can receive 0 percent interest on your loans for up to five years.

Additional programs:

  • Navy College Loan Repayment Program
  • Veterans Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

15. Automotive worker

Requirements: You must be an employee of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). This program also requires a 2.5 GPA from a college or technical school.

When wondering, “What jobs qualify for student loan forgiveness?” many people often don’t think of automotive workers. For most Americans, driving is something we do daily, and vehicles are complex pieces of machinery, so we need people who have expertise in the field. SEMA awards some individuals with student loan forgiveness through their program that requires an application process.

How to find out if your job qualifies for loan forgiveness

Even if you didn’t see your career path on this list, your job may qualify for some form of student loan forgiveness. Sometimes, you just have to do a little research and you can find additional options for loan repayment through different resources.

Ask Human Resources

If you’re currently at a job, take some time to chat with your HR department to see if your company offers any form of student loan repayment programs. Sometimes, these types of programs are incentives to retain talent. Many companies also want to invest in the education of current employees. So if you’re thinking about going back to school, your company may pay part of your tuition costs to lower the amount of your loans.

Look into the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)

As you’ve seen throughout this post, PSLF covers a vast amount of jobs. If you’re working in any public sector on a city, state or national level, you should see if your job qualifies for PSLF. The best resource for researching this is the Federal Student Aid website. They provide information about qualifying jobs as well as the requirements you must meet.

Follow the news about government policies

Finally, you should always keep an eye on the news for different policies working through Congress that may help with student loan forgiveness. For example, during the pandemic, the government paused certain types of student loans. Some House Representatives and Senators are regularly pushing for student loan forgiveness as well, so it’s helpful to stay in the loop about these topics.

Additional ways to get financial help with student loans

It’s possible that you made it through this post and didn’t see your job on this list for student loan forgiveness, but don’t worry. Part of managing your student loan debt is educating yourself about all of the various resources available. Here are some other avenues you can pursue that may help with paying off your student loans.

  • Refinancing: One reason people take so long to pay off their loans is due to high interest rates. Refinancing may lower your interest rate, and sometimes, it can lower your payments as well.
  • Extended repayment plans: For those with more than $30,000 in loan debt, an extended plan can stretch the payments for up to 25 years.
  • Deferred payments: This option temporarily allows you to stop making payments. It’s a great option for when you first leave school and are looking for work.
  • Graduated repayment plant: With this option, your loan payments start out low and gradually increase over time.
  • Direct consolidation plans: These plans allow you to combine your federal loans and average out your interest rates.

Each of these options have pros and cons, so be sure to research each option to decide which route is best for you.

Don’t let student loans ruin your credit

Unfortunately, missing and late payments on student loans can hurt your credit score. Many people damage their credit at a young age due to large amounts of student loan debt, but this doesn’t have to ruin your financial future. If your credit score has been affected by your student loan debt, sign up today for credit repair services. We’ll work with you to help repair your credit and provide you with the tools you need to improve your credit in the future.