More and more people are flocking to earn their higher education all with the thought that they can earn better incomes and provide easier lives for themselves and their families. However, many of these same folks are taking out student loans to achieve this goal. Once they have graduated, the amount of debt can be crippling and nearly impossible to get out from under. As a matter of fact, many find that they can’t even qualify for a home or car loan because on the enormity of their student debt, leaving the newly graduated student wondering if they would have been better off going the non-college route.
What They Don’t Know: There is Help
In this case, what these folks don’t know can definitely hurt them. There are millions, perhaps billions, of dollars available to help college graduates who are underwater in their student loan debt. The statistics are inconclusive, but the Consumer Advocacy Bureau believes that as many as one in four Americans may qualify for student debt forgiveness, because that many may actually work under the title of ‘public service’ without even realizing it.
Public service is typically thought of as firefighters, police officers, teachers, and the like. However, a person who works as an accountant with a non-profit agency may actually be considered a public servant in the eyes of loan forgiveness programs.
How Student Loan Forgiveness Works
Student loan forgiveness programs can actually completely erase some, or even all, of student loan debt. Those who do not qualify for forgiveness may still be able to utilize consolidation or specialized repayment options. Those who work in certain fields qualify easily, and these can range from the military to volunteers to education to nursing. Really, the qualification parameters are quite broad, and are worth checking into.
Keep in mind that utilizing loan forgiveness may affect income taxes for that year. For instance, if a person were to receive $3,000 in student loan forgiveness they may be required to file that $3,000 as earned income on their tax returns. Although the benefit of eliminating that debt, and yes it is eliminated, far outweighs having to pay a little more than expected in taxes.
With so many people struggling beneath the heavy burden of student loan payments, it would seem that there would be tons of folks checking into these forgiveness options. Sadly, many people aren’t even aware that they exist.