Why Am I Having Such a Hard Time Getting Teacher Loan Forgiveness?


Dear Steve,

I keep trying to get teacher loan forgiveness. Sometimes it seems like I will be approved, then they want some petty thing. They say loans are too old. Some from community college back in 1985. I consolidated all of them so now the oldest date is 2004. Wouldn’t I be eligible since the consolidation is like a new loan? I’ve read one might be eligible if they’ve paid off old loans. I’ve been teaching special ed, and now ESL for 22 years and could use the 17,500. My husband got forgiveness for his grad loans (he’s a spec ed teacher too). The consolidated one is both of ours but appears in my name on the federal database. I’ve been paying religiously 450 a month for some 12 years and haven’t gotten to the principal yet. We owed about 60,000. I am 56 almost 57 and want to retire soon.



Dear Joan,

I’m assuming you have consolidated federal loans. In that case the best program for full forgiveness of your loans, if you qualify, is not one of the teacher forgiveness programs but the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Since you’ve already consolidated your loans I’m hoping it was into a new Direct Loan where your payments would apply towards forgiveness.

Here are details on the technical aspects of the teacher and public service programs.

Keep in mind all Department of Education programs right now are a total mess but if your loan consolidation is covered, you would already have enough payments to apply for total remaining loan forgiveness under PSLF.


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Steve Rhode

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