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Originally Posted On: https://peoplejoy.com/loan-forgiveness-for-nurses/
Anyone currently or previously in a nursing program knows they can be pricey—as much as $200,000 for a bachelor’s degree at a private university. Many recent graduates come away with an average student debt of $37,000, while some owe as much as $120,000.
But the options for student loan forgiveness for nurses means many don’t have to pay back their full balance if they enroll in the right program. Here are the best programs nurses can consider adding to their student loan repayment plan.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
Any type of nurse working for the government or a nonprofit organization, including nonprofit or government-owned hospitals with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, may be eligible for PSLF. This federal program forgives remaining student loan balances after 10 years of service.
Some qualifying hospitals include:
- Allegheny Health Network
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Cleveland Clinic
- CommonSpirit Health
- Geisinger Health System
- Jefferson Health
- Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Lehigh Valley Health Network
- Massachusetts General Hospital
- Mayo Clinic
- Northwell Health
- RWJBarnabas Health
- St. Luke’s University Health Network
- Temple University Health System
- The University of Pennsylvania Health System
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
PeopleJoy is proud to offer nurses working at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia a free loan forgiveness analysis from our company. If that’s you, contact us today to claim this free benefit!
Nurses looking to receive PSLF, must:
- Make 120 qualifying student loan payments
- Work full-time for a qualifying employer
- Be under an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan
- Complete an Employment Certification Form and IDR income re-certification form annually
Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP)
Registered Nurses (RNs) or Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) with private or federal loans can have up to 60 percent of unpaid student loans forgiven when working full-time in qualifying shortage areas for two years. If they work a third year, another 25 percent of their original balance may be paid. While forgiveness is faster in this program than with PSLF, nurses have to pay taxes on received amounts.
National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program
Full- and part-time nurses with federal or private loans can take advantage of this program. Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) and psychiatric nurse specialists can apply. Repayment amounts are up to $50,000 for full-timers and up to $25,000 for part-timers. Exact forgiveness amounts also depend on where nurses work.
Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation
The now-defunct Perkins Loan Program gave out its last loans in 2018. Nurses who still have Perkins Loans can have 100 percent of their loan canceled, tax-free, over five years. Loan holders can defer their Perkins, meaning make no payments, while they work full-time as a nurse. Even in deferment, nurses receive incremental forgiveness so that there’s nothing left to repay once deferment is over.
Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP)
Nurses interested in teaching full- or part-time at a public or private nursing school can receive as much as $40,000 toward student loan repayment. They must work for a minimum of two years and come from an economically or environmentally disadvantaged background.
State-Based Loan Forgiveness for Nurses
Many states offer loan forgiveness for nurses, though the forgiveness amounts, eligibility criteria and work commitments vary. If you want to see what your state offers, search your state’s website for more information. Nurses in West Virginia, for instance, can receive as much as $90,000 in student loan repayment when working in Health Professional Shortage Areas.
Military Loan Forgiveness for Nurses
The military has numerous loan forgiveness programs on outstanding federal, and sometimes private, loan balances for nurses wanting to serve. For example, the Army Active Duty Health Professions Loan Repayment Program gives up to $120,000 for nursing school loans. Other programs include:
- Army Reserves Healthcare Professionals Loan Repayment Program
- Army Reserves College Loan Repayment Program
- Navy Nurse Candidate Program
- Air Force Active Duty Health Professions Repayment Program
Indian Health Services Loan Repayment
APRNs or nurses with an associate or bachelor’s degree may be eligible for up to $40,000 in forgiveness. To qualify, they must work full-time for at least two years in clinical positions in communities serving Native Alaskans or American Indians.
Some individual hospitals, such as Craig Hospital in Colorado and Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall (MSLC) in New York, offer student loan repayment options as part of their employee benefits. Search your area to see what hospitals around you are offering.
There’s still hope if you don’t qualify for any of these student loan forgiveness or repayment assistance programs. Refinancing your private loans with a traditional lender provides more affordable interest rates and monthly premiums for qualified borrowers.
Consolidating federal loans is another popular option. Though it won’t necessarily give you better interest rates, it rolls all your federal student loans into one monthly payment.
IDR plans for federal loans are also common, and base your payments off your discretionary income. Even if you don’t qualify for PSLF, you can still apply for one of the four IDR plans if you meet the eligibility criteria.
Loan Forgiveness for Nurses & Other Ways to Make Nursing School Loans More Affordable
Nurses have a slew of options to get rid of or reduce their student loan debt through programs offering loan forgiveness for nurses. Those who are confused by all the choices, aren’t sure what they qualify for or don’t know how to enroll in popular programs like PSLF, can try our free virtual student loan analyzer, Ed. Ed is an A.I. advisor that lets you know what you’re eligible for and how much you can save, with no cost or obligation. Get your free student loan repayment evaluation today!