Can Your Student Loans Be Forgiven?

Last week, I did an interview with Lynn Berry about how new college graduates should handle student debt.   With the average debt approaching $30,000 per college graduate, many students are wondering about the best methodologies to deal with this issue as they begin their careers.   Saying “I Forgive You” is never easy and here are my smart money moves on how some of your student loan debt can be forgiven.

  1. Public Loan Service Forgiveness Program- The PSLF Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their Direct Loans after they have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full time by certain public service employers. (source:   The idea under this program is similar to what some public employer’s do with an MBA program.  You work for us for a period of time (generally a minimum of three years) and we will forgive the rest of your student debt.
  2. Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program- The TLFP was designed to encourage individuals to become teachers serving lower income families in elementary and secondary schools.   Under the TLFP, if you borrow a Federal Stafford or Federal Direct loan(s) (and in certain cases, a Federal Consolidation or Direct Consolidation loan), and you teach for five consecutive and complete years at an eligible school, you may qualify to have up to $5,000 ($17,500 for certain highly qualified secondary math and science teachers, and elementary and secondary special education teachers) of your loan balance forgiven. (source
  3. Volunteer- Organizations including and are two types of organizations that essentially have a pay it forward mentality.  By donating your time to different organizations, you can get some of your student debt relieved while doing good at the same time.

There are other student loan forgiveness programs available and students in the college class of 2014 need to map out a game plan on the best way to handle their debt.  With challenging decisions including which debt to pay off first, contributing to retirement plans, and potentially adding more debt with graduate school, you won’t forgive yourself for not putting in the most important lesson plan of your life!

Written by: Ted Jenkin
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About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves


My friends and family all think I’m a workaholic, but I say I’m just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

Read More About Ted Here

Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation. 

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  • June 23, 2014

    My sister is counting on the $17,500 for the teacher forgiveness loan. She is in her fifth year teaching special education in a low income school.

  • Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves
    June 26, 2014

    That is a great program for teachers!

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