Loan Repayment

graduate with money

For many military spouses, higher education is essential to achieving personal and professional goals.

This education often comes with a price tag, and many spouses may turn to loans to help finance it.

Fortunately, there are some loan repayment programs available to help erase some of this debt.

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The National Health Service Corps

NHSC programs offer loan repayment in exchange for service at an approved NHSC site. Loan repayment is only available to persons fully trained and licensed to practice in the NHSC-eligible primary care medical, dental, or mental/behavioral health disciplines. If eligibility is met, military spouses can apply.

To be eligible, spouses must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen (U.S. born or naturalized) or U.S. National
  • Be eligible to participate as a provider in the Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, as appropriate
  • Be fully trained and licensed to practice in the NHSC-eligible primary care medical, dental, or mental/behavioral health discipline in which you are applying to serve
  • Have unpaid undergrad or graduate student loans, obtained before your application to the NHSC Loan Repayment Program
  • Be working at or have an accepted offer of employment with a start date no later than July 20 at an NHSC-approved service site. The NHSC Job Center shows available job opportunities at NHSC-approved sites.

Learn More>>

NURSE Corps (NC)

NURSE Corps programs offer scholarships and loan repayment in exchange for service at an approved NC site. The NCs offers financial assistance for registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice registered nurses dedicated to working in health care facilities with a critical shortage of nurses; or working as nurse faculty at an eligible school of nursing. If eligibility is met, military spouses can apply.

The NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program application cycle typically begins in January. For 2017 applications, please visit http://www.hrsa.gov/loanscholarships/repayment/nursing/ to sign up for a notification that will alert you when the cycle opens.

To be eligible, spouses must:

  • Be a licensed registered nurse (nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses are encouraged to apply) or nurse faculty, have completed your training (diploma, associate, baccalaureate or graduate), and be employed full time (at least 32 hours per week) at an eligible critical shortage facility
  • Be a U.S. citizen (born or naturalized) or National and Lawful Permanent Resident
  • Have an education from an accredited school of nursing located in a U.S. State
  • Funding preference is based on your financial need and the facility where you work.

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Indian Health Service (IHS)

The loan repayment program funds IHS clinicians to repay their eligible health profession education loans — up to $40,000 — in exchange for an initial two-year service commitment to practice in health facilities serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Opportunities are based on Indian health program facilities with the greatest staffing needs in specific health profession disciplines. As a participant, you are eligible to extend your contract annually until your qualified student debt is paid.

The 2017 IHS Loan Repayment Program application cycle is October 1 through the Friday of the second full week of August and applications are evaluated monthly beginning in January (or as soon as funds become available).

To be eligible, spouses must:

  • Are a US citizen. Males 18 years or older must be registered for Selective Service.
  • Have a health profession degree or are in your final year of academic/post-graduate clinical training.
  • Have a valid license to practice. Health profession students in their final year of post-graduate clinical training/school are eligible to apply before obtaining a license. However, you are not eligible for an award until you provide proof of licensure.
  • Are committed to practice at an Indian health facility.
  • Can begin service on or before September 30 for two continuous years of full-time clinical practice.

Learn More >>

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Teaching is a popular career among military spouses due to portability. If considering a career in teaching or have already begun pursuing a teaching career consider the government funded teacher loan forgiveness and cancellation programs.

To be eligible:

  • You must not have had an outstanding balance on Direct Loans or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans as of Oct. 1, 1998, or on the date that you obtained a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan after Oct. 1, 1998.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Find more information about the programs and additional eligibilty requirements...

Learn More>>

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)

The PSLF Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. If eligibility is met, military spouses can apply.

To be eligible:

  • You must not be in default on the loans for which you are requesting forgiveness.
  • You must be employed full-time by a public service organization when making each of the required 120 qualifying loan payments (certain repayment conditions apply)
    • at the time you apply for loan forgiveness; and
    • at the time the remaining balance on your eligible loans is forgiven.

Learn More>>

State Student Loan Forgiveness Programs 

In addition to Federal student loan forgiveness and repayment programs, most states have their own unique loan forgiveness programs, which cover a variety of borrowers. Eligibility depends on the specific state and program, but most states require:

  • US Citizenship
  • Licensed, working, or residing in that state

Does your state have a loan forgiveness program?

The programs vary from state to state but are available for occupations like physicians, veterinarians, dentists, nurses, educators, and more. It’s hard to keep tabs on each state’s programs but 

LendEdu has a responsive map that tracks each state’s program.

See the map and learn more>>

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