Educational Debt Relief Information and Resources for Students
Equal Justice Works believes that educational debt should lead to opportunities for happiness and success in choosing to pursue public service careers -- not stand in the way of this service. Equal Justice Works was a leading advocate for the passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 and continues to advocate for programs and policies that reduce the educational debt burden for all students and professions.
Take the right steps now!
Start planning and taking the right steps now to qualify for relief programs. Then you can focus on building your public interest career knowing relief and forgiveness is in your future!
It is important to learn about available relief and forgiveness programs -- and their requirements -- now so you can take the right steps when it matters.
Where do I start?
The burden of educational debt is often a significant barrier to pursuing a career in the public interest. Costs for college, graduate and professional school continue to rise and more and more students find it necessary to borrow for their education. But public interest salaries are traditionally lower than many positions in private companies and firms. As a result, many students and graduates find it untenable to enter or remain in public service when faced with the realities of paying off large amounts of educational debt.
The availability of relief and what you need to do to get there should factor into your major decisions.
Start by considering your tuition and exploring your options for financing your education -- and your future.
- Your future career plans
- Where you want to go to school
- How much and what type of debt you should borrow
- Your repayment options
Know Your Student Loans
If you want to qualify for the federal programs you'll want to make sure you are taking out federal loans and avoiding private or commercial loans if possible, because private loans are never eligible for government forgiveness. If you borrow all or mostly federal loans, you have preserved the possibility of all or most of your loans being eligible for federal relief and forgiveness. The more you borrow in private or commercial loans, the more you foreclose this possibility.
The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (CCRAA)
If you borrowed federal student loans, the CCRAA may help ease your educational debt burden.
The CCRAA created a historic Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), offering loan forgiveness after you work for ten years in qualifying public service employment. If you borrowed federal student loans and have high debt relative to your income, the CCRAA also created a new repayment plan -- Income-Based Repayment -- which can help you lower your monthly payments by calculating the amount due on your loans based on your income rather than the amount you owe.
Look through our information on Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Income-Based Repayment. Then sign up for an informational webinar to learn how these programs can work together to help ease the burden of your educational debt.
Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAPs)
These programs available from schools, employers, states and the federal government can help you manage your educational debt by providing funds to make your monthly payments. Often, LRAPs may be used in conjunction with IBR and PSLF by providing you funds to make your lowered monthly payments in IBR for ten years until you earn forgiveness.
Read about what LRAPs are and how they work. Then sign up for an informational webinar to learn what you should look for and how LRAPs can work with IBR and PSLF to significantly reduce your educational debt burden!
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Follow @EJW_org on Twitter and use #studentdebthelp to learn the latest news about educational debt relief.