How to get student loans forgiven if you don’t qualify for Biden’s forgiveness program?

President Joe Biden delivered on one of his campaign promises, announcing a plan to cancel the student debt of millions of Americans.

The plan, announced Wednesday, forgiving up to $20,000 for borrowers making less than $125,000 a year will either wipe out the debt of millions, significantly reduce the amount for individuals still owed or barely scratch the surface of how much a person owes to their lender.

For people who don’t qualify for the Biden loan waiver or who have student loans left over, there are still options available to reduce their debt.

Working for the federal government

People who work for the federal government can have a government agency pay back their student loans.

According to the US Office of Personnel Managementa government agency may pay up to $10,000 of an employee’s loan in a year or a total of $60,000 per employee during their time at the said agency.

An employee who agrees to the conditions must remain employed by the temporary employment agency for at least three years.

Forgiveness of Public Service Loans

The Public Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) promises to eliminate an individual’s entire student debt if they work for the federal, state or local governments, nonprofits, and other qualifying public service jobs.

The program forgives a borrower’s remaining loan balance after 120 timely monthly payments over 10 years. Individuals must have received the loan under a federal direct loan program as other programs are not eligible for PSLF.

People who believed they were making qualifying payments while receiving their loan from another federal program have until Oct. 31 to receive credits for payments that did not qualify under PSLF.

PHOTO: Recent graduates walk into the High Point Solutions Stadium for the start of the Rutgers University graduation ceremony in Piscataway Township, NJ, May 13, 2018.

Recent graduates walk into the High Point Solutions Stadium for the start of the Rutgers University graduation ceremony in Piscataway Township, NJ, May 13, 2018.

Seth Wenig/AP, FILE

Income-driven repayment plans

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Individuals who repay their federal loans through one of the four income-driven repayment plans are eligible for waiver of the remainder of their loans after 20 or 25 years of qualifying payments, depending on whether the loans were made for undergraduate or graduate level studies.

A report of the Government Accountability Office found that the Department of Education has not always been able to properly track borrowers’ payments, complicating matters for individuals who believed they were making progress not only in their payments, but also toward of debt forgiveness.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

Through the Teacher Loan Forgiveness ProgramFull-time educators teaching for five consecutive years at a low-income school or education services bureau can be canceled up to $17,500 of their federal loans.

Teachers may also qualify for the entirety of their debt to be eliminated through the public loan forgiveness program.


Active members of the military service are eligible for loan forgiveness up to $65,000 if they commit to at least three years of service. Service members are also eligible for PSLF.

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