Most U.S. states have established student loan forgiveness programs that are often offered to public service employees to help borrowers who have federal aid or don’t qualify for Department of Education programs.
Now, many states are adding to their programs, which are in place in part to encourage borrowers to work in public service jobs at the state level to help address job shortages, The Washington Post has reported.
In New York, officials added the Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program for borrowers enrolled in a federal income-based repayment plan or the Pay as You Earn plan. The state’s new program supplements the Pay As You Earn plan and allows eligible college graduates in the state to pay nothing on their student loans for the first two years out of school, according to a news release on the state’s new program.
The state’s latest offering requires borrowers to apply within two years of receiving an undergraduate degree, be current on any federal or New York state student loans and have an adjusted gross income of less than $50,000.
New York and Texas have nine student loan forgiveness programs each, according to The College Investor Student Loan Forgiveness Programs by State website. Most other states have between one and six student loan forgiveness programs.
Alabama, Utah, West Virginia Connecticut don't have loan forgiveness programs in place.
There’s also a Federal Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program, which a report from the Jobs with Education Fund shows could have higher enrollment numbers. The report indicates that nearly two-thirds of borrowers enrolled in the program work in the public sector, but they may not all benefit from it.
“Approximately one out of every four public service employees enrolled into Public Service Loan Forgiveness are currently enrolled in repayment plans that undermine the benefit of the program or are in repayment plans that do not qualify,” according to the report.
Department of Education data shows that, as of December 2014, 9% of borrowers enrolled in loan forgiveness program are also enrolled in ineligible repayment plans.
Student loan servicers have a role in the loan forgiveness programs. Payments through New York’s new program are made directly to loan servicers.