We never fully understood the effort healthcare professionals put into their services before the COVID-19. These challenging times in the pandemic showcased to us how healthcare professionals make sacrifices – by risking their lives and their loved ones’ lives – to deliver health and safety to a greater number of individuals. In return for their dedicated service, these professionals deserve all types of federal aid programs, including the ones designed for their student debt and student loan forgiveness. Luckily, the government provides multiple options for healthcare professionals to get rid of their student loan burden.
Here are seven great student loan forgiveness programs for healthcare professionals:
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness
- Nurse Corps Loan Repayment
- NHSC Loan Repayment
- Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment
- Florida Nursing Loan Forgiveness
- National Institute of Health Loan Repayment Programs
- NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program
We’ll go through every one of them, discuss their benefits as well as eligibility requirements in detail.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Public Service Loan Forgiveness is one of the federal student aid programs. The borrowers can get rid of 100% of their student loans once they satisfy the eligibility conditions.
Healthcare officials become eligible for forgiveness if they make 120 qualifying payments. These payments should be made on time and in full amount required by Income-Driven Repayment plans.
There also exist eligibility conditions such as working at a qualifying workplace. Not all healthcare facilities qualify for this forgiveness program. Additionally, healthcare professionals should work a minimum of 30 hours per week, either full-time or part-time. Lastly, only direct student loans are eligible for debt cancellation. Healthcare professionals with FFEL or Perkins loans should look for alternative options.
Healthcare professionals should fill PSLF form online or on paper and send the form to FedLoan Servicing by mail.
Nurse Corps Loan Repayment
This student loan forgiveness program for healthcare professionals is available to nurses with up to 85% cancellation of the remaining student loan balance. In the first two-year service period, the applicants get rid of 60% of their outstanding debt. If they agree to a third-year service in an eligible facility, they get additional 25% debt forgiveness.
If you are a Registered Nurse, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, or Nurse Faculty member, you might be eligible for this repayment program. Your service should be full-time, and you should have a degree from an accredited school. In return for the repayment, the applicants need to agree to serve in a Critical Shortage Facility (CSR) or in a nursing school for two years.
Applications to this forgiveness program are possible through a digital platform called Customer Service Portal in the HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce website. You will need to submit supporting and additional documents to the online application. The application form involves information regarding employment, education, loan amount, etc.
NHSC Loan Repayment
Healthcare professionals can also receive funds to pay their open student loan balances through the NHSC Loan Repayment program. This student aid program is available in return for a service agreement. If the applicants agree to serve full-time for 2-years, they will get $50,000 forgiveness. Meanwhile, part-time healthcare professionals can only get $25,000 in exchange for a 2-year service.
Healthcare professionals in areas like medical, dental, and mental/behavioral can qualify for this benefit if they are trained and licensed. They should be U.S citizens or nationals as a provider in the following:
- State Children’s Health Insurance program
In return for the benefit, the applicants should provide two-year service either full or part-time. Only the service in NHSC eligible facilities will qualify.
It is possible to apply online for NHSC Loan Repayment on the official website. Online application involves details like employment, loan information, etc. Supporting and additional documents should be attached to the application.
Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment
This student loan forgiveness program covers new accession to Navy or active duty healthcare personnel in the Navy. It is possible to receive up to $40,000 debt forgiveness per year through this program. Keep in mind that the benefit amount of $40,000 will be subject to 25% income tax.
The applicants should have a written agreement to serve active duty and be enrolled as a student in the final year to get a degree in the health profession or in the final year of the residency program for allopathic, osteopathic, and dental programs. You can check the official website for more detailed information.
The application conditions change depending on whether you are a new accession of the Navy or an active duty medical personnel. In case of new accession, an award letter, lender release form, loan statement, contract, and obligated service matrix are required for application. For active-duty medical personnel, intent email, motivation and loan statements, copies of licensure and fitness reports, etc., should be provided
Florida Nursing Loan Forgiveness
States also have programs to help healthcare professionals. Florida is one of those states as it grants $4,000 loan repayment per service year. It is possible to apply for the loan repayment four times, which means the maximum benefit amount is $16,000.
If you are a Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Nurse, or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, you can qualify for this student loan forgiveness program. In return for the benefit, the borrowers should serve full time in qualifying facilities. Only the loans incurred to get a nursing education are covered through this state program.
Applicants should fill the application form and send it to the State Education Department by the deadlines. Check the Florida Student Financial Aid website for more information on deadlines.
National Institute of Health Loan Repayment Programs
National Institute of Health (NIH) provides multiple loan repayment programs to support health professionals in biomedical and biobehavioral research. It is possible to get up to $50,000 loan forgiveness per year, depending on the chosen program.
The eligibility conditions change depending on which program you want to apply to. There are programs called Extramural -research work outside the National Institute of Health, and Intramural- research within the NIH. The applicant’s educational debt should be equal to or more than 20% of the base salary.
You will need an LRP login account to access the portal for NIH forgiveness. You can only apply for the programs when the registration for them is open.
NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program
If you are eligible for NHSC Substance Use Disorder (SUB) Workforce Loan Repayment Program (LRP), you can get rid of $75,000 worth of student loans in only three years. In return for the benefit, you have to provide three-year part-time or full-time service.
The eligibility conditions for this program are similar to what we described in the NHSC Loan Repayment program. However, as its name suggests, this program benefits the workforce in Substance Use Disorder Treatment. The qualifying applicants work in facilities with low HPSA scores that otherwise do not qualify for NHSC funding.
In general, it takes around three weeks to collect all necessary documents and complete the application. It is possible to apply and view the status of the application online in the BHW Customer Service Portal.
This article was kindly contributed by Student Loans Resolved. They specialize in tackling federal or private student loan debt and assisting graduates from all across the US in reducing their financial burdens.