Managing Student Loans

For the most part, student loans are not forgivable. Your student loan company most likely offers things such as a forbearance or a bereavement, but student loan forgiveness is not common.

Unlike a forbearance or a bereavement which only delays your student loan payments for a set period of time, student loan forgiveness means that your student loan debt is wiped clean. Although this really sounds great, I do not want to get your hopes up too much without first explaining how student loan forgiveness works.

First of all, I have never seen or heard of a program that will forgive all of your student loan debt. Therefore, unless there exists some program of which I am unaware, you will have to pay back some portion of your student loan debt. However, as I mentioned, I have read about government programs that offer to forgive part of your student loan debt if you meet certain qualifications.

Programs offered by the government that will forgive your student loan debt have strict requirements. Of the programs that I have read about, you must work for the government, in certain social fields listed by the government (including, but not limited to, jobs such as an assistant district attorney, public defender, and social working) in which you have to work for a minimum of ten years. Additionally, during the ten year time frame that you are working in one of these social fields, you have to make timely student loans payments during the entire ten year term. Therefore, it is likely that you will have already paid a substantial portion of your student loan debt by the time you qualify for the debt forgiveness.

Thus, you must assess the advantages and disadvantages of such a program. You must ask yourself whether it is worth ten years of a government salary and ten years of student loan debt repayment so that the remainder of your student loan debt will be forgiven. Keep in mind that government work in the social fields can be personally rewarding. Additionally, government benefits (including retirement plans, health care, and insurance) are second to none. However, salaries for government jobs are generally lower than in the private sector. Therefore, you have to weigh these advantages against these disadvantages and decide for yourself.

Do not confuse forbearance and bereavement with student loan debt forgiveness. Forgiveness programs are offered, but the qualifications and requirements are strict and may not appeal to your field of interest. Weigh all the considerations and make the decision for yourself.