If you are in the healthcare field, you may want to check whether you can get student loan forgiveness. Recently, a new bill was introduced that will assist frontline healthcare workers get rid of their student loans.
Student Loan Forgiveness for the Frontline Health Workers Act
This new bill establishes temporary programs to give federal and private student loan forgiveness to particular frontline health care workers. As we know that frontline health care workers are those individuals who have created significant contributions to the medical response, for example, patient care, medical research, or testing to the national emergency like COVID-19.
In particular, the Department of Education has to carry out a program to forgive the outstanding balance of principal and interest due on federal student loans for the borrowers who are frontline health care workers. In addition, the Department of the Treasury has to carry out a program to repay in full the outstanding balance of principal and interest due on particular private student loans for the borrowers who are frontline health care workers.
The Department of Education and Department of the Treasury have to coordinate to make sure that eligibility determinations are consistent across those two programs and that frontline health care workers who are eligible for the programs can apply for loan forgiveness with a single application. Furthermore, such programs have to be available to frontline health care workers who were the borrowers of eligible loans and who died as a result of COVID-19. The bill determines the notification requirements related to the availability of those programs.
The Department of Education, Department of the Treasury and Department of Health and Human Services have to establish an intergovernmental working group together to help with the administration of those programs, including the development of the application process. Also, the bill excludes discharged student loan debt under those programs from an individual’s gross income.
Frontline Health Workers that Can Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness
Here are some frontline health workers that can apply for Student Loan Forgiveness:
- Medical researchers
- Lab employees
- Healthcare workers responding to the COVID-19
- Those who have left their other work to focus on supporting the COVID-19
Student Loan Forgiveness Requirements for Frontline Health Workers
If you are a healthcare worker, you will be able to qualify for federal student loan forgiveness. The programs of Student loan forgiveness can give significant debt relief.
Here are some requirements to qualify for student loan forgiveness:
- You have to be employed by a United States federal, local, state, or non-profit organization.
- You have to work full-time.
- You must have direct loans.
- Ensure that you repay your own loans.
- You have to make 120 qualifying payments (10 years of qualifying payments).
Healthcare workers at public hospitals or not-for-profit hospitals will be able to take benefit of public service loan forgiveness (PSLF). Please be sure to check with your loan servicer to determine whether you have eligible loans. For instance, healthcare workers who have private student loans do not qualify for public service student loan forgiveness for their non-federal loans, neither do healthcare workers who work for for-profit organizations.
Maintaining Eligibility for Student Loan Forgiveness
Even if you meet all of the student loan forgiveness requirements, your loans will not be forgiven automatically. You not only have to meet the criteria explained above, but also have to certify annually that you continue to meet the requirements for the student loan forgiveness. The healthcare workers working for for-profit organizations and the healthcare workers working for non-profit organizations with no a tax exempt status are ineligible for this student loan forgiveness. Also, the healthcare workers who work part-time are ineligible.
The kind of loan and payment plan also important when determining eligibility for the student loan forgiveness. You must have direct loans and you have to be paying your loans under an income driven payment plan. If you do not have direct loans, then you are able to consolidate your existing federal loans into a direct loan to qualify. Also, you have to note that your loans do not automatically enter into an income driven payment plan. You need to contact your loan servicer to select an income driven payment plan which best fits your needs and goals.
PSLF help tool is a useful tool to assist understanding student loan forgiveness. This tool will assist you understand what you need to do to participate and qualify in the program of student loan forgiveness. The tool will assist you identify whether your employer qualifies for public service student loan forgiveness, decide your loans qualify for student loan forgiveness, and tell you what actions you need to take to ensure you receive student loan forgiveness.
PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness) Program for Healthcare Workers
PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness) is the broadest and best student loan forgiveness choice for medical professionals. Below are its eligibility requirements:
- Federal Direct Loans are eligible.
- You have to work full-time for a qualifying employer (either a non-profit or government employer, like an academic institution, hospital, Veteran Affairs, etc). Also, you are able to work more than one part-time job totaling 30 hours or more per week.
- You need to make payments on an income-driven repayment plan (PAYE, REPAYE, IBR)
After you reach 120 qualifying payments under the above criteria, then you are able to apply for PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness). If you qualify, your remaining student loan balance is forgiven, and tax-free. We suggest you complete an employment certification form for the PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness) program. The program has been managed by FedLoan Servicing, even though that is changing at the end of 2021.
Remember that with all the changes to PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness) that are coming due to the Biden administration’s PSLF order, you have to ensure that you are paying attention this year and next year so that you get forgiveness as soon as you want.