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Fast Facts: Student Loan Debt

What can I do about my student loan debt?

There are many options available for teachers with

student loan debt, but it is important that you know

the facts before you make any decisions.

Are there different types of student loans?

There are many different types of student loans, but

the two types that we are concerned with here are

Stafford Loans and Perkins Loans. If you don’t

know what type of loans you have, go to this

website to see what types of loans you have, and

how much:

www.nslds.ed.gov/


What can I do if I have Stafford Loans?

If you have Stafford loans, you may be eligible for

loan forgiveness after you have completed five (5)

years of teaching at a qualifying school, in a

qualifying subject area. Depending on what you

teach, you may be eligible for up to $17,500 of loan

forgiveness after completing your five years of

teaching at your qualifying school (if you move

sites, but they both qualify, you are still ok). You

will need to be paying on your loans during these

five years, and you will not be reimbursed if the

amount you owe is less than $17,500. In order to see

if you are working at an eligible site, visit this

website, and print a copy of the qualifying page for

your records for each year that you worked there:

https://www.tcli.ed.gov/CBSWebApp/tcli/TCLIPubS

choolSearch.jsp

In order to see if you are working in a qualifying

subject, please go to this website and print a copy of

the qualifying subjects for each year that you taught

them (NOTE: if you teach multiple subjects, you

only have to qualify with one):

http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.p

df

Contact the holder of your student loans to initiate

the process with your school. You may be eligible

for retroactive inclusion in the program (i.e. if you

have taught 10 years at a qualifying school).

PLEASE NOTE: In order to participate in this

program, do NOT consolidate your student loans.

Also, check that your loans are not too old to

qualify.


What can I do if I have Perkins Loans?

If you have Perkins loans, you can apply to have a

percentage cancelled each year that you teach. This

is the breakdown:

❏ 1st and 2nd year: 15% is cancelled at the end

of each year

❏ 3rd and 4th year: 20% is cancelled at the end

of each year

❏ 5th year: either the remaining balance

(including interest) or 30% is cancelled at

the end of the year (whichever is greater)

You do have to pay your loans during this five year

program, and you are not eligible for

reimbursement if you pay more than your monthly

minimum.

Contact the holder of your student loans to initiate

the process. You may be eligible for retroactive

inclusion in the program (i.e. if you have already

been teaching several years, and have Perkins

loans).

PLEASE NOTE: In order to participate in this

program, do NOT consolidate your student loans.

Also, check that your loans are not too old to

qualify. Also, there may be limitations on how

much debt can be forgiven.


What if I have already consolidated my loans?

If you have already consolidated your loans, you

may still be eligible for the Stafford and Perkins

loan cancellation programs, but only if the

consolidation did not combine Stafford and Perkins

loans together. If your consolidation combined

both Stafford and Perkins loans together, you are

not eligible for those forgiveness programs. But you

are eligible for another program--PSLF.


What if I have a LOT of student loan debt or I have

already consolidated my student loans?

For those who have significant student loan debt, or

have consolidated their Stafford and Perkins

together, you still have an option available to you.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a

program that you are eligible for because you work

for a public school district. In order to qualify for

this program, you must consolidate your loans into

a Federal Direct Loan. You must make 120

qualifying payments (one monthly payment for ten

years), and the rest of your federal student loans

will be forgiven. You must reapply each year for

this program, and the government will determine

how much you have to pay each month in order to

qualify. A copy of the form that you must fill out

(and have HR fill out part of it) can be found here:

http://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/public-s

ervice-loan-forgiveness.pdf

You must also provide proof of income each year

(which is how they determine how much you have

to pay each month), which can be done by

submitting a copy of your pay stub with your yearly

application.


What if I don’t qualify for the Stafford Loan

Forgiveness because I don’t work at a qualifying

school?


If you do not work at a qualifying school, which

would enable you to participate in the Stafford Loan

Forgiveness program, you are still eligible for the

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

PSLF is not dependent on which school you teach

at, or which subject you teach.


Where can I go if I have more questions?

It is always a good idea to go directly to the

source--speak to whatever company holds your

student loans. You should also go to

www.studentloans.gov for general information

about student loans and repayment programs.

CTA also has a wealth of information available to

members at

http://www.ctamemberbenefits.org/studentloans

You can also contact Sean L. Mabey at NEA who

specializes in Student Loan Debt information:

smabey@neamb.com

www.neamb.com/sean

Or you can view his comprehensive handout from

his presentation “Generation Debt: Erasing Student

Loans and Debt” at

http://www.ctamemberbenefits.org/~/media/Traini

ng/LoanForgiveness816.ashx

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ABOUT US >

TTEA is the local teachers union in Tahoe-Truckee, CA representing about 280 educators. It is an affiliate of the California Teachers Association which represents over 325,000 educators across CA. TTEA/CTA members are also members of the National Education Association representing over 3 million educators nationwide.

The Tahoe Truckee Education Association exists to protect and promote the well-being of its members; to improve the conditions of teaching and learning; to advance the cause of free, universal, and quality public education; to ensure that the human dignity and civil rights of all children and youth are protected; and to secure a more just, equitable, and democratic society.  

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