No matter your profession, specialty or training, student loans can be complicated. It’s normal to have a lot of questions about the repayment process and how physicians and providers can best approach it.
Luckily, these complex questions aren’t new to the experts at Navigate Student Loans. To help providers achieve some peace of mind as they manage student loan debt, they’ve offered answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about loan forgiveness, specifically 25-year student loan forgiveness.
- When I graduated medical school my student loan interest rates were 1-2%. The smart financial move was to pay them off on a fixed 30-year term. I am still paying on my loans. Does this apply to me? If you have federal student loans with a remaining balance and have made payments for 25 years, you qualify for loan forgiveness.
- I am self-employed/partner in a medical group/work for a for-profit organization. Most loan forgiveness requires employment at a nonprofit or underserved community. Will I qualify? There is no employment requirement for the IDR forgiveness.
- My loan balance is higher now than it was when I graduated. It’s very frustrating. You’re not alone. Many physicians face the same situation due to errors by loan servicing companies. “Student loans were never meant to be a life sentence, but it’s certainly felt that way for borrowers locked out of debt relief they’re eligible for,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.
- It’s called Income-Driven Repayment forgiveness, but I’m not on an income-driven plan. Do I qualify? Federal Student Aid will do a one-time revision of IDR-Qualifying payments for all direct and federally owned FFEL loans. Any months you made payments will count toward IDR. Certain months of forbearance and deferment will also count.
- What can I do to have my loans forgiven? If you meet the requirements (federal loans, 25 years of payment, remaining balance) you will want to check your loan type. If you have the older FFEL loans, it’s likely you need to apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan. Once your loans are held directly by the U.S. Department of Education, it has the authority to forgive them.
- Where can I learn more?
Federal press release
Federal Student Aid announcement
Navigate Student Loans article
- Who can I talk to about how it applies to me? Our partners at Navigate Student Loans can answer all your questions, help you determine if you qualify and walk you through the Direct Consolidation application process.
Set a time to discuss your situation.
- Is there a deadline? Borrowers should apply for a Direct Consolidation loan by May 1, 2023 to get the full benefit.