What Types of Loan Forgiveness Programs Are Available for Teachers?

What Types of Loan Forgiveness Programs Are Available for Teachers?

March 23 | Personnel Management

Did you know that many teachers in our Texas charter schools qualify for thousands of dollars of student loan debt forgiveness?  This could make a HUGE difference in the lives of your teachers!

Today’s Tip covers five student loan forgiveness programs available to Texas teachers, based on specific circumstances and qualifiers. Read below to find out which loan forgiveness programs your teachers qualify for and the specifications of each program.

What Are the Qualifiers for Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs?

Each loan program, detailed below, has its own set of qualifiers, which include the duration of employment, subject matter taught, and a charter school’s low-income population (Title I status).  Eligibility for these programs also depends on the type of loan the educator has and the loan origination date.

A common (but not always applicable) qualifier for these loan forgiveness programs is a charter school’s low-income population qualifier (Title I status). Employees can check to see if their school meets the established criteria in the Teacher Cancellation low Income Directory, here, also known as the “Eligible Schools List.”

At this link, choose “Texas” from the directory, the appropriate school year, and your charter’s name (your charter name must match the name listing of your charter in AskTED), and a record will populate showing your charter’s information if your charter qualifies.

For your school to be listed on the TCLI directory, it must be an eligible Title I school serving 30% or more students with Title I funding. The economically disadvantaged status of a school does not ensure eligibility in this program.

Administrators: If you verify that your charter qualifies, you can use this information not only to retain your current teachers but also to strategically market this status to draw in new teachers to your charter, as they’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of this perk of working for your school.

What Loan Forgiveness Programs are Available?

There are five!

  1. Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLFP)
    • Under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLFP), those teachers who borrow Federal Stafford or Federal Direct loan(s) (and in certain cases, a Federal Consolidation or Direct Consolidation loan), and teach for five consecutive, complete years at an eligible school (think: retention marketing strategy!!), qualify to have up to $5,000 ($17,500 for certain highly qualified secondary math and science teachers, and elementary and secondary special education teachers) of their loan balance forgiven. Your charter must be on the “Eligible Schools List” above to qualify for this program. Follow this link for full details on the application process.  Applicants will fill out a paper application, sign it, have charter school Superintendent or other key administrative personnel sign off on your application, and then mail your application to the entity repaying your loan (or guarantor). Make photocopies for yourself, and make note of the date and address of when and where you mailed your application.
  2. The Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Assistance Program
    • Also known as TFTLRAP, this program is intended to recruit and retain certified teachers in areas of shortage.  Areas of teacher shortages are designated each school year and geographically unique. Those areas are posted here. Applicants are eligible to receive up to $2,500. Several award criteria points are considered when submitting this application, and those are outlined here.
  3. The Federal Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation
    • For those that have a loan from the Federal Perkins Loan Program, teaching at a low-income school and/or in certain subject areas can mean loan cancellation!  Perkins loan cancellation is based on eligible employment or eligible volunteer service and the length of time that you were in such a position. In fact, eligible teachers may have up to 100% of their loan incrementally canceled, including interest. The application is quick and easy, requiring appropriate forms and documentation be submitted. To see all related documents, click here.
  4. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)
    •  Intended to encourage people to begin working and stay working in public service jobs, the PSLF Program may allow for you to have the full, remaining balance of your Direct Loans forgiven. This occurs after an individual has made 120 qualifying payments on the loan while maintaining full-time public service employment.  This applies to those who have been in public service and making payments since October of 2007 or after. More info here.
  5. Math and Science Scholars Loan Repayment Program
    •  In an effort to encourage teachers who have demonstrated high academic achievement as math or science majors to teach in public school, the Math and Science Scholars Loan Repayment Program was established and covers up to $10,000.  To qualify for this program, an educator must agree to teach math or science for at least 4 years in Title I public schools in Texas.  Additionally, GPA, degree, FTE, and certification requirements exist. More information here.

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