3 Student Loan Forgiveness Programs That Are Virtually Unknown
June 26, 2013

If you’re drowning in student loan debt, one possibility to lighten your load is a loan forgiveness program. There are the standard programs we all know about – public service forgiveness programs for government workers, military members, librarians and others. There’s also the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLFP) and the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program. But if you don’t qualify for any of the above programs, there are a fewer lesser known student loan forgiveness programs that you may qualify for. Check these out: 

Victims of 9/11 Discharge

This program is intended for spouses and parents of victims of the 9/11 terror attacks. If you lost a loved one in the 9/11 events or had a loved one become permanently and completely disabled as a result of the attacks, you may qualify. For parents who lost an adult child in the attacks and had taken out loans to educate the victim, loan forgiveness may be possible. For spouses of 9/11 victims, federal student loans can be forgiven. Here’s the form needed to apply for forgiveness. Eligible victims are those who were disabled or died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the crash site of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

If you become totally and permanently disabled, your federal student loans may be forgiven. You must have a physician certify that you are suffering a physical or mental impairment that will result in your imminent death or that has lasted for five years continuously or that is expected to last for at least five years continuously. This loan discharge is also available for veterans that are unemployable due to a service-connected disability. Here’s the form needed to apply for forgiveness. After the discharge, the forgiven borrower will be monitored for three years and must notify the Department of Education if they are able to generate earnings that exceed the poverty line.

Disqualifying Status Discharge

This discharge – also called False Certification – applies only if your college certified that you were eligible to study in a program in which you would not be able to obtain work. These can include a physical condition, mental condition or legal status that prevents you legally from getting a job in the field you’re studying. Here’s the form need to apply for forgiveness. Examples include certified enrollment in a truck driving program for a student with a physical disability that prevents them from getting a CDL, certifying a felon to study in law school when they would never be allowed to take the bar exam or to practice law. If you’re dealing with long-term unemployment because you can’t get a job in the area of your major or certification because of a legal limitation, this may be the discharge plan for you!

If you think you qualify for any of these programs, it’s worth pursuing to find out the details – particularly if your student loans have become an unmanageable burden. Whether you’re able to make your payments or are struggling, one of the best things you can do is educate yourself. Try Tuition.io’s free student loan tool to manage and optimize your debt. Also check out these other blogs on student loan forgiveness programs and paying your student debt:

Did Your College Close? You May Be Able to Cancel Student Loans

Heads Up Public Servants – How to Maximize Your Forgiveness Benefit!

3 Missteps That Could Cancel Your Public Student Loan Forgiveness

Obama Proposes Tax Free Student Loan Forgiveness