Don't Let Student Loan Debt Keep You From Your Dream JobSep 1, 2022 2:18 PM
The average graduate of the class of 2022 owed $28,950 in student debt at the time they finished their degree. For grad students, that number can soar up to $189,162. That's a lot of money, but increasing debt shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a career in social impact. There are options.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) makes it possible for you to pay your loans and follow your dream. Whether you are already enrolled in the program or are just reading about it for the first time, here is what you need to know about how to manage student loan debt while working for a nonprofit.
What is the PSLF program?
The PSLF program began in 2007, when a bipartisan congress passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. Borrowers who work full time in a public-interest field can have their federal student loans forgiven after making 120 monthly payments—typically over the course of about 10 years. PSLF was defined broadly, and therefore applies to a variety of public service professions.
Tips for qualifying for PSLF
There are certain steps borrowers can take in order to determine whether their payments and jobs qualify for PSLF:
Pro Tip: Just because you’re not earning a salary does not mean you shouldn’t consider signing up for an income-based plan and submitting employee certification forms. If you are a volunteer in the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps, any payments you make while serving will count as a qualifying payment—and your payments could even be $0!
Need additional resources?
There are a variety of online resources to help borrowers manage their student loan debt and learn about the PSLF program. And if you’ve tried applying for PSLF before and haven’t been approved, then here’s some good news: Last year, the U.S. Department of Education expanded eligibility for the program under the temporary PSLF waiver. Check out the specifics on their website to see if you meet the updated requirements before the waiver expires on October 31.
More than 43 million people owe federal student loans, and about 25% of the workforce is eligible for PSLF. Even if you aren’t yet able to qualify for loan forgiveness, ensuring that you meet the requirements for PSLF will take some of the pressure off of repaying your student loan debt. And in the meantime, you’ll be able to pursue your dream of working in social impact.
***CAREER PATHCOLLEGE STUDENTS