I am working VERY hard to pay off my student loans before the normal scheduled 10-year payment plan. I’d like to not be in debt, I’d like to be saving more quickly for exciting future things like a house or a pony, and I’d like to not pay interest! (I hate interest unless I am earning it).
That being said, I also know that life happens sometimes and there is a chance I will still have student loan debt in 10 years. Did you know that if you work in a public service job (like for a nonprofit, as a teacher, public aid lawyer….that sort of thing) you can have your Federal loans FORGIVEN if you have made 120 full monthly payments while working for that public service job? (And no, it doesn’t have to be 10 consecutive years or 120 consecutive payments, as long as you haven’t defaulted).
By getting your loans forgiven I mean–you won’t owe any more money! At all! Free money! It’s a lovely perk.
But did you know there is some paperwork you have to fill out to get that perk? Here it is. It’s easy. You fill out the top, your employer fills out the bottom (thanks, HR!) to say yes, you do work there and yes, it is a qualifying public service job…and then you mail it into your loan servicer! Easy peasy!
If you are on a payment plan such as “Pay as you earn” that stretches out over more than 10 years and you work in a qualifying job….well, it just makes sense to take the 15 minutes to fill out the paperwork! Wouldn’t it be a huge weight lifted if one day you just didn’t have loans anymore? I sure think so.
Now, that being said- just because I know this is out there doesn’t mean I am going to make tiny loan payments now and rack up huge interest in the hopes my loans will be forgiven in 10 years. Life happens both ways- and I can’t guarantee I will have a nonprofit job still in 10 years (or even that I will still have a job!) So my advice is: prepare the paperwork, and carry on your payment plan as if this forgiveness plan didn’t exist.
Hope this helps!