The U.S. Department of Education has just announced new rules for getting some or all of a person’s student loans forgiven. Unfortunately, the rules for qualifying are quite narrow. Most people with massive student loan debt in Memphis won’t qualify.
The good news is, if you can’t take advantage of this new program, it does not necessarily mean you will be burdened by crippling debt for the rest of your life. Other options might help you. Here are a few examples:
- Job-based forgiveness programs. If you are a teacher or nurse, the state of Tennessee has a loan forgiveness program for you. So does the federal government. You might also qualify for forgiveness if you work in the public sector or for a nonprofit organization. And active military personnel can qualify for help through their branch of the armed forces.
- Disability discharge. A severe and permanent disability that takes away your ability to earn an income can be the basis for getting your student loans discharged. This process is automatic for veterans. For everyone else, you must submit evidence of the severity of your disability and agree to government monitoring of your finances and physical abilities for three years.
- Close school. If the college, trade school or similar institution has shut down, your loan may be forgivable. You must have been enrolled or have left no more than 120 days of the date the school closed and continue to make payments while your application is pending. If approved, you might get some or all of those payments reimbursed.
Exploring your options can be very rewarding. You don’t have to let student debt drag down yourself and your family without taking action.