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Which Repayment Plan Will Be Best to Get My Student Loans Forgiven as a Teacher

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

First year English teacher with $46,500 student loan debt

Please advise me on the best repayment plan for me on my student loan debt. I will qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness after 10 years. Should I do REPAYE, PAYE, IBR, or ICR? Thank you!



Dear Jacquie,

Thank you for launching into education. A great teacher is an amazing resource.

First off you should make sure you will be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) by looking at this page.

As it says, the repayment plans that would give you the lowest current monthly payment and get you to the 120 qualified payment forgiveness threshold will be one of the income driven plans.


If you plan on getting married at some point I would stay away from REPAYE, so that leaves you with PAYE or IBR. Both of those programs require you to recertify annually and your payment may be adjusted if your income changes.

ICR is not an option unless these were Parent PLUS loans.

I would suggest that if you have multiple loans that you consider dropping them all into a Direct Loan to consolidate them and then select your income driven repayment plan.

Also, I would suggest you complete the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form and do it annually. You can submit periodically while you are working toward meeting the PSLF eligibility requirements. You will then receive confirmation if you are making qualifying PSLF payments.

But be sure to put those responses with your other important papers and never lose them. There is currently an issue with the government changing the rules and people losing PSLF eligibility along the way towards 120 payments. See this article.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


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