College graduates across the country face the uphill task of paying off student loans they borrowed for their education. Idaho borrowers know all about debt financial aid debt, with 58% of graduates in the state carrying an average federal student loan debt of $24,983.
Paying off student loans can sometimes take decades. Luckily, borrowers in Idado might qualify for state-specific loan forgiveness programs. Others might qualify for federal student loan forgiveness.
Below is a look at Idaho student loan forgiveness options available through the state and the U.S. Department of Education.
Idaho Student Loan Forgiveness
There are currently two Idaho state loan repayment programs available to borrowers who reside in the state. Generally, state loan forgiveness requires you to work in a specific career field, like health care, and within designated areas of need within the state.
Idaho State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)
The Idaho SLRP is a loan repayment program for eligible nurses, clinicians, and physicians working in federally-designated Health Professional Shortage Areas. You might receive up to $25,000 in loan repayment annually, if qualified. The program requires a two-year service requirement working full-time (40 hours per week) in a designated area of need within Idaho.
Rural Physician Incentive Program (RPIP)
Qualifying Idaho physicians might qualify for loan repayment through RPIP. You must serve in a Health Professional Shortage Area in Idaho to qualify. Qualified applicants may receive up to $100,000 in loan repayment over a four-year period.
RPIP gives preference to eligible physicians who paid into the RPIP fund, although it's not required to receive repayment assistance.
Federal student loan forgiveness programs for Idaho borrowers
In addition to state-sponsored programs, Idaho borrowers might be eligible for federal loan forgiveness if they received financial aid, including Direct Loans. Each program carries its own requirements and forgiveness amounts.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
Eligible borrowers working for select nonprofits and government agencies might be eligible for tax-free forgiveness through PSLF. You must make 120 qualifying monthly payments while working for a qualifying employer.
After completing the program requirements, your remaining eligible federal student debt balance is forgiven.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Teachers with qualifying federal loans are also eligible for teacher loan forgiveness up to $17,500. To qualify, you must teach full-time at a low-income public elementary or secondary school for at least five consecutive academic years.
Secondary mathematics or science teachers or special education teachers who teach at the elementary or secondary level qualify for up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness.
Highly-qualified full-time elementary or secondary education teachers in other subjects can still receive up to $5,000 in forgiveness on educational loans.
Income-driven repayment forgiveness
Federal borrowers who don't qualify for other programs can still seek loan forgiveness by switching to an income-driven repayment plan, or consolidating their loans under an IDR plan.
After 20 or 25 years of monthly payments, your remaining debt balance is forgiven.
Unlike PSLF, you might have to pay taxes on the amount forgiven.
Perkins Loan Cancellation
Borrowers with Perkins Loans might qualify for up to 100% loan cancellation, depending on their career field. The Department of Education cancels a percentage of Perkins Loans based on your years of service.
What about private student loans?
Unfortunately, private student loans don’t qualify for federal student loan forgiveness or other federal protections. Most private lenders don't offer a way to get your loans forgiven.
However, you might save money by refinancing your private loans. Depending on your credit, financial details, and employment history, you might qualify for lower interest rates than your current loans. A lower rate reduces the total interest you’ll pay on your student loan debt and can lower your monthly payments.
Next steps for student loan forgiveness in Idaho
You must meet specific requirements to qualify for loan forgiveness programs, which often includes years or decades of on-time payments and service commitments. Research program requirements to ensure you’re eligible before applying.
If you need help determining which programs you qualify for or the best way to tackle your debt balance, we can help. We’ll analyze your situation to help you find the right repayment and forgiveness options for your goals. Book a consult with Student Loan Planner today.