Getting a job as a social worker is a good option. Especially if you are a student, you can get some benefits of it, such as student loans forgiven. In this article, I will talk about the student loan forgiveness programs for social workers, which are conducted by the Federal Government.
National Health Service Corp Loans Repayment Program (NHSC)
NHSC is a program that provides healthcare for underserved societies from all around the world. As a clinical social worker, you might be eligible to compete for reimbursement of school loans in exchange for working in a selected area of need. Besides this, social workers can receive tax relief benefits, competitive salaries, and bonuses. Participants of the NHSC LRP program can work and acquire two years of repayment (maximum $50000), but in some cases, an additional one year of participation in the program might be available. If you want to apply for this program, you must be a citizen of the United States.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
PSLF is one of the programs that any social worker who has federal student loans can get the benefits of. Suppose you want to be qualified for this program, first of all. In that case, you have to work full-time for a government (state, local, federal) or nonprofit organization for at least ten years, according to the U.S Department of Education. Secondly, you have to make 120 qualifying monthly payments. After making these payments, you can apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and once you are approved, the government will forgive your student loan debts.
Perkins Loans Discharge and Cancellation
The program authoritatively finished in September 2017. The good news is that as a social worker, you can still be eligible for Perkins Loans Discharge and Cancellation if you took out Perkins Loans before the program ended. You can apply for this program by contacting the monetary aid department of your school or your appointed loan servicer. If you are eligible for this program, you may get up to 100% student loan forgiven.
Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program
The Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program (IHS) is one of the federal student loan programs that awards up to $40000 per year to reimburse your student loan in exchange for a full-time two years’ service obligation at an Indian Health Program Site. To be eligible for this program, you must be willing to serve two years of service obligations for American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
There are some state-based student debt forgiveness programs for social workers, which is known as State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). It is a partnership program with the federal government. Since SLRP cannot afford higher student debts, this program is mainly appropriate for students or social workers who have a small amount of student loan debt.
California State Loan Repayment Program
Like NHSC and IHS programs, this is also for clinical social workers. This program offers student loan reimbursement of up to $50000. There are two types of award amounts; full-time (2-year initial obligation) and half-time (4 years initial obligation) maximum award amounts. If you want to apply for this repayment program, you must have citizenship of the United States.
North Carolina State Loan Repayment Program (NCDHHS)
This is another repayment program for mental health providers who can work in underserved areas. Loan repayment awards up to $50000, and you can get this award in exchange for a two-year commitment.
ITT-tech institutes student loan forgiveness
Due to fraud and scams, ITT Technical Institutes were shut down in 2016. It left over 35,000 students without an education opportunity. To compensate for this, in 2018, the Department of Education announced to compensate students who lost their education careers and are left in debt. The Borrower’s Defense to Repayment Discharges (BDAR) was created.
Michigan State Loan Repayment Program
This repayment program assists employees to hire and hold clinical, mental, and dental medical care providers by providing credit reimbursement to people who enter into MSLRP service commitments. One of the main differences of this repayment program is that it allows for up to $200000 and helps those selected participants reimburse their educational loans for up to eight years.
Alaska Sharp Program
Alaska’s Sharp Program is a program, which provides partial monetary support for medical, clinical, and dental service practitioners. By serving underserved communities, health care providers can get student loan repayment between $20000-$27000.
Minnesota Loan Repayment Program
This forgiveness program is for healthcare providers who practice in urban and rural parts of Minnesota. This program offers $20000 a year to clinical social workers in return for two years of full-time commitment.
Another way to manage student loans for social workers
Besides these loan forgiveness and repayment programs, there is still a way for social workers to manage their student loan debts. It is student loan refinancing. If you are considering refinancing your student debts, it is best to consider private loan lenders. Another disadvantage of refinancing is the loss of loan forbearance, income-driven repayment plan, and loan deferment. However, by refinancing your loan, you cut huge numbers of dollars in interest off your student loan debts.
As you see, there are lots of student loan forgiveness and loan repayment options for social workers. By analyzing wisely, you can choose the most appropriate one for yourself and take all its advantages.
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