Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Teacher Loan Forgiveness: If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your Direct Loan or FFELPprogram loans. See StudentAid.gov/teach-forgive for more information and a form you can fill out when you have completed your teaching service.

Learn more about the eligibility requirements and full details of the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program at the Office of Federal Student Aid website.

  • You must have been employed as a full-time teacher for five complete and consecutive academic years, and at least one of those years must have been after the 1997-98 academic year.

  • You must have been employed in a an elementary or secondary school that

    • is in a school district that qualifies for funds under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended;

    • has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education based on a determination that more than 30 percent of the school's total enrollment is made up of children who qualify for services provided under Title I; and

    • is listed in the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits or is operated by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE).

  • Your teaching service may qualify if the consecutive five-year period includes qualifying service performed after the 2007-08 academic year at an eligible educational service agency.

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness application calls for consecutive, complete academic years of service for forgiveness. However, applicants who were unable to teach during the period of the officially-declared natural disaster Hurricane Maria and/or Hurricane Irma are allowed up to a one-year gap in service. The one-year gap in service encompasses the following timeframes:

Hurricane Maria: September 2017 thru September 2018

Hurricane Irma: September 2017 thru September 2018

This waiver applies for Teacher Loan Forgiveness applicants residing/working in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (PR) or the Virgin Islands of the United States (VI) affected by the officially-declared natural disaster Hurricane Maria and Teacher Loan Forgiveness applicants residing/working in the VI affected by the officially-declared natural disaster Hurricane Irma. This relief/wavier is available as part of the enactment of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, Public Law No: 115-123.

  • You must not have had an outstanding balance on Direct Loans or FFELPProgram loans as of Oct. 1, 1998, or on the date that you obtained a Direct Loan or FFELPProgram loan after Oct. 1, 1998.

  • You are not eligible for forgiveness of any defaulted federal student loan unless you have made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the holder of the defaulted loans.

  • The loan(s) for which you are seeking forgiveness must have been made before the end of your five academic years of qualifying teaching service.

Note: Additional eligibility requirements may apply

After you complete the five-year teaching requirement, you can apply. Please complete, sign and return the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application. It can be found on the Forms page. You will need the chief administrative officer of the school at which you performed your qualifying teaching service to complete the certification section.

Beginning January 1, 2021, amounts forgiven under the TLF Program are not considered income by the Internal Revenue Service. Therefore, you will not have to pay federal income tax on the amount of your loans that is forgiven.

The discharged loan amount may be considered income for state tax purposes. You may want to consult with your state tax office or a tax professional before you file your state tax return.