What is teacher loan forgiveness?

Teacher Loan Forgiveness is a federal loan forgiveness program designed specifically for teachers in the public sector.

Under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, if you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other specific qualifications, you might be eligible for loan forgiveness of up to $17,500.

Note that these programs do not apply to any private student loans that teachers might have taken out.

Loan qualification

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized FFEL Loans

If you have PLUS loans only, you are not eligible for Teacher Loan Forgiveness.


Note that the Department of Education differentiates between service completed before and after Oct. 30, 2004 in determining the eligibility requirements for different levels of loan forgiveness.

Application process

In order to apply you have to complete the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application and submit it to your loan servicer at the end of your fifth consecutive teaching year. If you taught at different schools during different academic years, the chief administrative officers from all of the schools must certify your eligibility.