If you are a baby boomer with kids in high school or college, student loans may be in your family’s future. You don’t want college costs to interfere with your retirement saving. There are some programs that will help your kids get rid of those student loans without sacrificing their financial futures.
Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
< The federal government offers several ways to obtain forgiveness of student loan balances. Most involve volunteering or working in a low-paying non-profit position.
Americorps: If your child works for Americorps for 12 months he/she can receive to $7,400 in work stipends plus $4,725 in student loan reductions.
Peace Corps: For each year your student works for the Peace Corps, the government will forgive 15% of your child’s Federal Perkins Loan.
Volunteers in Service to America: This program pays $4,725 for 1,700 hours of service.
Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
If your son or daughter teaches in a public school with students from low-income families, a portion of their Perkins Student Loan balance can be forgiven. This is an annual forgiveness, for up to five years. The particular school must qualify under the program.
Teachers of math and science in high-need schools can also have as much as $17,500 forgiven from their Stafford student loan.
The American Federation of Teachers maintains a list of other teacher loan forgiveness programs.
Help with Law and Medical School Loans
Law grads to take jobs with public-interest or non-profit entities can earn student loan reductions. positions. The American Bar Association publishes a lot of information about student loan repayment assistance programs.
There are also student loan forgiveness programs for health care professionals, including the National Health Service Corps and Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program. For these, the physician or nurse must practice for a fixed number of years in remote or economically depressed regions.
Other medical student loan forgiveness programs can be found at the American Association of Medical Colleges database.
Final Comments on Help for Student Loans
I think our goal as boomer parents is to help our children finish college with little or no debt. That does not mean we sacrifice our own financial futures. That is why having knowledge of these programs that can help our kids get rid of student loan debt may be an answer.
Photo credit: Marc Amos