Student Loan Forgivenes ((October 2013)
By Karen Litzinger, MA, LPC

I'm always interested in the topic of student loan forgiveness since I know that school costs and debt affects student career choices. For example, students may be reluctant to choose social services careers when the average student debt is $24,301. That's the figure from the organization American Student Assistance as of the first quarter of 2012.

The good news is there is help and hope for social service types and other college graduates. The July 7, 2013 American Public Media radio program, Market Place Money, was full of stories of students who hadn't thought their careers through ending up in a mountain of impossible debt. But it also shared some good resources.

One fabulous resource shared was a reference to the ebook, 60+ Ways of Getting Rid of Your Student Loans (Without Paying Them). The ebook, article and radio program are available at this link.

The two main types of programs are loan forgiveness and loan discharge.

Community service loan forgiveness programs for all fields and degrees are available through Americorp, Peace Corps and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). Related to this is loan forgiveness through military services.
Some employers are offering to pay loans off from $2500-$5000 to attract younger talent in exchange for a certain number of years of service to the employer. These are prevalent in health and teaching fields.

The second type of program is loan discharge. A program exists where loans could be discharged if something catastrophic happens to you or the school closes, resulting in not being able to finish the degree.
Several types of loan discharge programs exist for financial hardship. The income based repayment program is eligible to those who loan repayments are more than 15% of their income. Income contingent repayment program caps payments at 20% of income. Both forgive debt after 25 years of payments, and at least one forgives it after 10 years of payments while in public service employment.

Click here for a main link about repaying student loans from the U.S. Department of Education.

©2013, Litzinger Career Consulting. Permission granted to reprint this article so long as the text and by-line are not changed and reprinted intact with all links made live.
Karen Litzinger, MA, LPC, owner of Litzinger Career Consulting, provides career counseling, job search advising, outplacement consulting, and business etiquette training. More information is available at