Guide To Student Loan Forgiveness For Nurses 


Student loan forgiveness can reduce debt or wipe it out entirely, opening the door for a fresh start. Some student debt relief programs help borrowers in specific occupations as well.  

For instance, nurses have several opportunities to receive student forgiveness that either minimizes or removes their debt completely. Keep reading to hear all about the available opportunities for nurses so that you can accelerate your path to having zero student debt.

How student loan forgiveness for nurses works

Student debt relief programs help nurses who meet certain criteria. The recent policy from President Biden provides $10,000 in debt relief for qualifying nurses who earn less than $125,000 per year. 

Keep in mind that households must earn less than $250,000 per year to qualify for student loan relief. But qualifying Pell Grant holders will receive an additional $10,000 in student debt relief. Nurses with updated income on file with FAFSA will automatically receive student loan forgiveness. 

However, nurses who have not provided FAFSA with updated income levels can expect to wait for the application to open in early October. You should fill out this application before the November 15th deadline to qualify for student loan forgiveness.

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) nurse loan forgiveness

The NHSC program helps nurses find jobs, receive scholarships and pay off student debt. The program incentivizes work in certain fields, such as the opioid epidemic, to receive accelerated student loan relief. 

The NHSC has several resources for nurses seeking debt relief: 

How to get student loan forgiveness

Nurses with student debt can utilize existing programs and the one-time student forgiveness policy from President Biden. That said, nurses have several options when seeking meaningful relief from their student loan debt. 

Biden’s student loan forgiveness 2022

President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program provides one-time debt relief for millions of borrowers. The U.S. Department of Education is offering $10,000 in student debt relief for qualifying students who earn less than $125,000 per year. 

On the other hand, Pell Grant recipients are eligible to receive an additional $10,000 in loan forgiveness. As mentioned earlier, borrowers with updated income in FAFSA will automatically receive their debt forgiveness.

Now, if you have not updated your income, wait for FAFSA to publicize an application at some point in early October. You will have to fill it out before November 15th to receive debt relief. 

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) programs

The National Health Service Corps has several programs that can make a long-term, positive impact on your student debt. These resources can provide consistent help, which is different in comparison to the U.S. Department of Education, which only provides one-time debt relief. 

With the U.S. Department of Education, you can receive debt relief via either a $10,000 or a $20,000 payment as long as you took out a Pell Grant. The NHSC has several loan repayment programs available for nurses as well. 

Qualifying for student loan forgiveness as a nurse

President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program relates to your income level. In order to qualify for student debt relief, nurses must earn less than $125,000 per year, which is under $250,000 per year as a household. 

The NHSC Loan Repayment Program requires two years of service, while the SUD and Rural Community Loan Repayment Plans require three years of service. Part-time nurses can also qualify for student loan forgiveness, but full-time nurses will receive more student debt relief. Nurses must also work at NHSC-approved sites in order to obtain student debt forgiveness.

Alternatives to student loan forgiveness for nurses

The NHSC has several paths to debt forgiveness, and President Biden’s policy aims to trim more debt off the balance sheets of nurses. Keep reading to explore these alternatives as you seek to receive additional student loan forgiveness.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Nurses who make 120 student loan payments while in service can qualify for debt forgiveness on the remaining balance. However, you may not qualify for this choice if you have an FFEL or Perkins student loan.

Perkins Loan Cancellation

Nurses can receive debt forgiveness from their Perkins Loans if they have accrued enough service. Nurses who work in underserved areas or received a Perkins Loan prior to 2017 can qualify.

Army Nurse Corps Benefits and Health Professions Loan Repayment Program

Nurses who enlist in the Army Reserve or active duty can qualify for up to $250,000 in student debt relief. This payment will go directly to the lender, so you don’t have to worry about debt repayment. 

If you are currently attending school, the military can provide you with a scholarship. Some nurses also receive signing bonuses that can reach $30,000 or more, along with other benefits.

Disadvantaged Faculty Loan Repayment Program

RNs and APRN graduates can receive up to $40,000 in student debt relief with the help of the Disadvantaged Family Loan Repayment Program. You must have a contract of at least two years to teach at a qualifying public or nonprofit school, but the program is designed to help nurses who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Reduce your student loan debt 

Recent policies and existing programs give nurses several opportunities to reduce their student debt. Trimming your student debt will make monthly payments less burdensome and put you on the path to zero debt. 

Making prudent payments in the meantime will also create an impact, especially with the pause on student debt payments that ends as of December 31, 2022. Any progress on the balance between now and the end of the year will help you when the pause is inevitably lifted.

What is an eligible school of nursing?

An eligible school of nursing is a place where you have to work in order to receive awards. A national nursing accrediting agency or state agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education must accredit a nursing school in order for it to be eligible.

Does student loan forgiveness apply to healthcare workers?

Student loan forgiveness applies to healthcare workers. President Biden’s student debt relief program, as well as other existing programs, can reduce your student debt immeasurably.

What is the average nurse practitioner’s student loan debt?

 The average nurse practitioner’s student loan debt is between $40,000 and $55,000.

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