Student Loan Options for Teachers
Benefits Abound for Repayment
Student teachers, you’re in luck; you won’t have far to go to find a spectrum of student aid being thrown your way. Guess what? You’re in high demand. Use this as a resource tool for accessing the most practical and affordable student loan options for teachers.
You’ll find student loans from the Federal government, state governments and private lenders. And very appealing teacher loan forgiveness and loan repayment programs you must not miss out on.
Federal Loans for Students in Teaching Programs
Federal student loans are built to provide the most affordable and accessible federal money to almost every type of student. There may be no more widely disbursed loan than the subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans. No matter what chatter you hear about private loans, always, always apply for your federal loans first.
**Did you know that the Stafford Loans and Perkins Loans require no credit check? You can have bad credit, good credit, or no credit—you still qualify for federal dollars.
Apply for your federal loan maximums every year by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the only way to apply for your federal loans. Fail to file a FAFSA and the bad news is you exclude yourself from almost every other form of government sponsored aid, including many of the valuable teacher loan forgiveness and repayment programs—you leave money on the table, so to speak.
Private Bank Loans for Student Teachers
When federal loans don’t cover the full cost of your undergraduate or graduate education you might then consider how a private loan may best be used. Shop very carefully for private loans. Popular sources for private student loans include student loan providers like Sallie Mae and commercial banks like Citibank.
What makes private loans so different from federal loans? We urge you to use your federal loans first for their affordability and flexible repayment terms.
The hitch with private loans is your credit history—it figures prominently. If you plan on being a sole borrower on the loan you must have very good credit. The better credit you have the better your loan. Bad credit? Don’t exclude yourself from private loans. Your best bet when trying to borrow on bad credit to finance your education is to be one step ahead: apply for a private student loan with a co-borrower, someone you know and trust with good credit.
Repaying Student Loans as a Teacher
Student loan repayment plagues most college graduates. Teachers, though, have an abundance of choices, including traditional loan repayment programs. But why pay for years on student loans if you can find a source for loan repayment?
Guess what? If you are a student in an education degree pursuing teaching as a career then you must not miss the opportunities within your reach for teacher loan forgiveness, loan cancellation, and loan repayment. The federal government and state governments are excellent primary sources for teacher loan forgiveness programs.
How teacher loan forgiveness/cancellation programs work:
Typically you agree to work as a teacher in a low-income school, in a specially “designated” high-need area, or teach in a critical need area, such as math or science, and for a certain number of years. Over the course of that time you are eligible for a maximum level of loan forgiveness.
Teacher Cancellation of Federal Student Loans
Do you teach in a low-income school on a full-time basis? And do you have outstanding Stafford and Perkins Loans? Find out how you could be eligible for teacher loan cancellation through the federal government. The program also includes options for teacher loan forbearance, and loan deferment. Eligible Stafford Loans are those originated through the Direct Loan Program that have been borrowed since October 1998.
The federally sponsored Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program gives experienced teachers a chance to apply for loan forgiveness for Direct Stafford and FFELP loans. If you’ve been working as a teacher in a K-12 school for at least 5 years and have student loans that have been borrowed since October 1998, find out if you qualify.
State Based Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Don’t miss out—many loan forgiveness programs are closer than you think. Here’s a tip: check out the loan forgiveness programs offered by the state in which you are attending school. Three quarters of the state governments feature these programs. Remember, you’ll be expected to work in a low-income school or teach within a high need subject area designated by the state.
Here are a few examples of popular state teacher forgiveness loan programs:
- The Delaware Teacher Corps is designed to provide career incentive along with valuable loan forgiveness to teachers in Delaware teaching programs willing to commit to teaching in a Delaware public school. Eligible candidates may earn $5,000 in loan forgiveness compensation for each year they teach. Student teachers with experience teaching math or science are favored.
- Florida’s Critical Teacher Shortage Student Loan Forgiveness Program aims to boost the numbers of teachers in critical need subject areas. Undergraduates and graduate student teachers are welcome. Candidates must teach at public schools in Florida.
- The Iowa Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness program provides up to $6,270 in loan cancellation funds, or 20% of federal loan balance, for new teachers willing to work in a designated school within the state. Participants must work full-time for a year.