Obtaining student loans for nursing school is simply a necessary evil for the majority of those who become nurses. Going for a full BSN-RN degree or an advanced degree such as a masters of science in nursing or doctorate, can rack up plenty in student loan debt. When you graduate and get that dream job you prepared for all those years, you may be disheartened to learn the bulk of your paycheck is going to repay the loans that made your dream job necessary. A catch 22 if ever there was one!
Some of your colleagues may not be quite as frustrated with their student loan dilemma as you are, for whatever reason. Perhaps they won the lottery? More than likely, however, they’ve come to accept this seemingly-forever debt as a fact of their lives. Or, just maybe, they’ve discovered some viable options to help them get out from underneath this often-crippling amount of debt.
Options for Student Loan Debt Forgiveness
“Forgiveness”, when it comes to nursing school student loan debt, doesn’t mean you won’t earn the payback. There’s no magic wand forgiving your debt without some contribution on your side. But, fear not! You will still be fulfilling your calling to patient care, even as your student loan is being repaid. And these options exist for both Private and Federal loans.
One of the biggest reasons these options are available is the current, and growing, shortage of nurses in the U. S. In response to the shortage of quality nursing care in severely underserved communities, the federal government created these options. Created to encourage nursing support in these communities, these options can prove extremely lucrative when it comes to repaying student loan debt. Many participants had the bulk of their loans paid in full after just a few years.
NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program: This program, abbreviated NHSC Program, was designed to help Registered Nurses repay the cost of their education by working in medical facilities in areas the government has determined as “underserved”. These clinics and hospitals are located in very rural areas where access to medical care is limited, as well as the desperately poor urban locales of inner cities. Patients are typically very poor and don’t have much knowledge of healthcare, nor preventative care. Many nurses find work in these areas emotionally challenging and frustrating, so be aware this option will take a certain kind of person to be able to commit. However, it can also be extremely rewarding.
Non-Profit Employee Student Loan Forgiveness: For nurses employed by a non-profit 501(c)(3), and who are working full time for that healthcare non-profit agency, your student loans can be forgiven after a time. You must make 120 monthly payments on your loan, at which point your entire remaining debt is forgiven. With the many healthcare facilities operating as non-profit this is a fantastic option for repaying your student loan debt.
Government Employee Student Loan Forgiveness: For those who are employed by the government, full-time, in any capacity, you have direct access to the most powerful loan repayment programs available. And it isn’t only for federal employees. Those who are employed full-time at the state, or local level are entitled to this program. Much like the non-profit program, this one requires you to make 120 monthly payments and upon completion your student loan debt is deemed paid in full.
Military Student Loan Forgiveness Program: Each branch of the United States military has a loan forgiveness program, however it isn’t 100%. If you sign up with the military as a new recruit you may qualify to have up to $65,000.00 of your student loan debt repaid. You have to sign up for a set amount of time (usually 6 years) and should you be discharged before that time, for whatever reason, you may be required to pay back the money.
Options to Pay Your Student Loan Off Fast
If your situation is dire and you don’t want to, or can’t, commit to one of the paths to repayment listed above, then you need other options. There are ways to refinance your loans and lower the payment amounts by bundling them all into one loan, or you may want to speak with a professional credit counselor, or a representative of your bank. For more information you can call the Student Loan Relief Helpline. The first call is free, however there will be fees thereafter. The number: 1-888-906-3065
Student Loan Debt Forgiveness is Possible
It’s not always easy to find a way to have your student loan debt forgiven. For some individuals, working with the desperately poor, in large urban areas, or rural outposts, is not something they want to do. Others may find working for a non-profit to be extremely frustrating and not financially rewarding. But for those nurses with plenty of debt, who are forward thinkers, these loan forgiveness options are a fantastic way to free yourself of student loan debt and begin earning a living doing what you’ve always felt was your true calling.