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Loan Forgiveness and Discharge Programs

Looking for repayment plans that include forgiveness?
Income-driven repayment plans offer a potentially lower monthly payment and loan forgiveness after 20 or 25 years. You can find descriptions and requirements for each income-driven repayment plan at the Income-Driven Repayment Information Center.

The U.S. Department of Education currently offers two loan forgiveness programs for borrowers who either work in public service (Public Service Loan Forgiveness) or are teaching at a Title 1 school (Teacher Loan Forgiveness). Some physical or mental impairments can qualify you for a total and permanent disability discharge (TPD) on your federal student loans, and there are other types of discharge programs described below.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

If you get a job at a government or not-for-profit organization and repay your loans based on your income, you may qualify for forgiveness of your Direct Loans after 10 years of payments and employment. See StudentAid.gov/publicservice for more information and for a form you can fill out when you start working to receive confirmation that your employment qualifies for the program. You can also find more information on our PSLF Help Center page.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF)

If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your Direct Loan or FFEL program loans. See StudentAid.gov/teach-forgive for more information and for a form you can fill out when you have completed your teaching service. You can also find more information on our TLF Help Center page.

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)

If you think you might qualify and want to apply for a TPD discharge, you must provide the information the Department of Education needs to make a determination by completing a TPD discharge application and gathering supporting documentation that shows you are totally and permanently disabled. For complete information about TPD discharge, including the TPD discharge application, visit the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge website at DisabilityDischarge.com. You can find more information on our TPD Help Center page.

False Certification (Disqualifying Status)

You may qualify for this discharge if, at the time your school certified or originated your loan, you were unable to meet the legal requirements for employment in your state of residence in the occupation for which your program of study was intended. If you think you may be eligible for the False Certification (Disqualifying Status) Discharge you may download and print a copy of the appropriate discharge application from the Forms section on our website.

False Certification of Ability to Benefit

You may qualify for this discharge if the school you attended falsely certified your ability to benefit from the education offered by the school. A school is required to certify that students who lack a high school diploma or GED still have the ability to benefit from the training offered by the school. If you think you may be eligible for the False Certification of Ability to Benefit Discharge, you may download and print a copy of the appropriate discharge application from the Forms section on our website.

False Certification (Unauthorized Signature/Payment)

You may qualify for loan discharge if the school, without your authorization, signed your name on a loan application, promissory note, loan check, electronic funds transfer application, or master check. If you think you may be eligible for the False Certification (Unauthorized Signature/Payment) Discharge, you may download and print a copy of the appropriate discharge application from the Forms section on our website.

School Closure

You may qualify for loan discharge if your school closed while you were enrolled and you were not able to complete the program of study for which your student loan was intended. In order to qualify, you must have been attending the school within 120 days of the closure date or on an approved leave of absence when the school closed. If you think you may be eligible for the School Closure Discharge, you may download and print a copy of the appropriate discharge application from the Forms section on our website.

Spouses and Parents of September 11, 2001 Victims

You may qualify for loan discharge if you are the spouse or parent of an eligible public servant or eligible victim who died or became permanently and totally disabled due to injuries suffered in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. If you think you may be eligible for Spouses and parents of September 11, 2001 Victims Discharge, you may download and print a copy of the appropriate discharge application from the Forms section on our website.

Unpaid Refund

You may qualify for loan discharge if your school failed to pay a tuition refund required under federal law if you withdrew during the refund period published by the school. If you think you may be eligible for this discharge program, you may download and print a copy of the appropriate discharge application from the Forms section on our website.