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Can My Student Loans Be Forgiven After Ten Years?

By on January 21, 2015

“Dear Steve,

I have student loans that are more than 5-10 years old from undergrad and graduate school of $84,000 or more. I have made payments over the years but not consistently. recently my wages were garnished and created a financial hardship for me. After a least ten years or more could my loans be forgiven?

I just read your article regarding student loan debt. Is there any programs for someone who works for a state agency for more than fifteen years and has student loan debt of subsidized and unsubsidized loans that are at least ten years old


Dear Monica,

The good news is if we get this situation finally under control and organized then there is hope you can have your wage garnishment terminated and your loans eventually forgiven. But it will require 120 on-time payments of even as little as $0 per month. Yes, zero.

The first step is to end this garnishment. See The Easiest Way to Stop a Student Loan Wage Garnishment – Loan Rehabilitation.

Once your loans are back and considered current then you just need to stay on track to have your loans forgiven under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

The key points are that to be forgiven, your loans have to qualify under the program, and:

  • You must make 120 on-time, full, scheduled, monthly payments on your Direct Loans.
  • Only payments made after October 1, 2007 qualify.
  • You must make those payments under a qualifying repayment plan.
  • When you make each of those payments, you must be working full-time at a qualifying public service organization.

The on-time payments to not have to be consecutive so maybe you made some payments since 2007 that were on-time and will count.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About 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.


  1. Shannon G

    January 19, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Hello, do the 10 years working for a non-profit and/or government organization have to be consecutive?

    • Steve Rhode

      January 22, 2016 at 11:51 am

      No. It just needs to be 120 qualifying payments.

  2. Steve Rhode

    January 21, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Monica, just answered your question.

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