When will this legislation become effective?
Most of the changes will take effect October 1, 2007.
Who is eligible for the loan forgiveness portion of the legislation?
You must be working full-time in a public service job to include:
- Emergency management
- Military service
- Public safety
- Law enforcement
- Public health
- Public education (including early childhood education)
- Social work in a public child or family service agency
- Public interest law services (including prosecution or public defense or legal advocacy in low-income communities at a nonprofit organization)
- Public child care
- Public service for individuals with disabilities
- Public service for the elderly
- Public library sciences
- School-based library sciences and “other school-based services”
- An Internal Revenue Service designated 501(c)(3) organization
- Teaching as a full-time faculty member at a tribal college or university
- Teaching in “high-needs areas” as determined by the Secretary of Education.
How do I find out if I am eligible for the loan forgiveness program?
To determine whether or not you are eligible, contact the U. S. Department of Education at 1-800-USA-LEARN. They will be issuing regulations within the coming months to provide the public with more guidance on the legislation’s implementation.
How much of my loan does this affect?
After ten years of service in an eligible profession, 100% of federal loans and interest are forgiven.
Where can I get information about other loan forgiveness programs?
NASW has a loan forgiveness toolkit on our website at http://www.socialworkers.org/advocacy/updates/2007/072707.asp
Currently, under the U.S. Department of Education’s Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Program, a borrower may pay federally guaranteed and federally extended loans over 25 years. The repayment amount is tied to the borrower’s income. After 25 years of ICR payments, the balance of the debt is forgiven. Access the U.S. Department of Education’s website at www.ed.gov for information about college financial aid.
Who can I contact if I need further assistance?
If you need assistance in solving a loan dispute, contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Ombudsman at http://www.ombudsman.ed.gov/