In 2012, about 60% bachelor degree students graduated with debt. Among those 60%, the average debt was $26,500. The cost of attending college is rising each year, and many graduates leave college feeling completely hopeless about their financial situations. However, there are many ways to mitigate student debt, and some occupations qualify for student debt forgiveness.
The government has a Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program designed to encourage people to enter the teaching profession. Through this program, teachers can get up to $17,500 in student debt forgiven if they work at least 5 consecutive, full-time years.
Total amount forgiven depends on rank and branch of the military, but all military personnel can take advantage of a student loan forgiveness program. The Army, for example, will repay up to $65,000 in qualifying student loans.
Full-time professionals and nurses are often eligible for loan forgiveness under a public health service student debt relief program. You must be employed full-time and make a certain number of your monthly payments on time in order to qualify.
If you are employed full-time in the public service or non-profit sector and have paid 120 loan payments on-time, you can qualify to have the rest of your debt forgiven under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
The Income-Based Repayment Plan is available to anyone with student debt, and adjusts your monthly payments to 15% or less of your discretionary income. This could reduce your payments all the way down to $0 if you have little or no discretionary income. You pay the adjusted payments for 25 years, and then the rest of your debt is forgiven.