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Easy Ways to Manage Your Student Loans

Student loan borrowers live for the day when they’ll pay off their debt. Many borrowers feel trapped and have nowhere to run or hide. It doesn’t have to be so serious, as there are several student loan forgiveness options available.

The federal student loan forgiveness programs provide a way to cancel or lower your balance in a relatively short amount of time. Qualification for each program is determined by several different factors.

Being in default on your loans, automatically disqualifies you. It takes nine months of going without making a single payment, to be considered in default. Since private student loans don’t provide borrowers with forgiveness options, it’s up to the lender to decide how they will accommodate your needs. You will need to discuss your options with your lender.
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Your federal loan balance is eligible for forgiveness after ten years of working for a non-profit or government agency. Professions that qualify for forgiveness range from nurses to military personnel. If you want to save a lot of money and qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, then enroll in an income-driven plan.
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Only federal direct loan borrowers, who meet the above criteria are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Borrowers that have loans from multiple sources, will need to consolidate them into their federal direct loans in order to become eligible.

The company that manages your student loans will help you with your application. They will be able to confirm whether or not you are eligible. They will let you know if you need to consolidate, as well as the required paperwork to complete.

Your employer is responsible for helping you complete the employment certification form. Although annual completion of this form is recommended, it isn’t mandatory. A retroactive employment certification is an option for those who stay with the same employer every year.

Borrowers who are public service workers, and have taken out federal Perkins loans, are eligible to have their loans canceled in entirety. If you’re not sure if your job qualifies you for this type of student loan forgiveness, there are detailed job charts available online.

If you are a teacher, then you’ll need to know what the specific guidelines are. You don’t qualify just because you work full-time at a public school, the subject and type of school are also factored into your eligibility.

Income-driven repayment plans are another option for those who don’t qualify for Perkins and Public Student Loan forgiveness. Your remaining balance is typically forgiven after 20 years, although some plans are up to 25 years. This is something you’ll want to confirm with your service provider, before selecting which option is best for you. Student loan debt is manageable, just make sure you select a repayment plan that works for you and don’t default.