After college, many graduates choose to volunteer for the Peace Corps or Americorps. While serving through these entities, volunteers are still responsible for managing their student loans. However, while volunteers are still required to make payments, there are many benefits and student loan perks they can take advantage of including deferment, partial cancellation, and income-driven repayment plans. The perks you may be eligible for as a Peace Corps or Americorps volunteer will depend on the type of loans—federal or private— you have. Different loan types will be associated with different payment options.
If you are struggling to determine the best way to manage your student loans while serving in Americorps or the Peace Corps, it can be helpful to seek the opinion of a skilled student loan professional. An experienced student loan lawyer is a great resource for deciding the best repayment strategy for your situation. Here is some helpful information on student loan forgiveness for the Peace Corps or Americorps.
Peace Corps and Americorps Student Loan Forgiveness: Federal vs. Private Loans
The first step in seeing what loan forgiveness options are available to you is figuring out what kinds of loans you have, as federal and private loans will have different repayment options. If you are unsure of what loans you have, you can visit the U.S. Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System. This resource can be very helpful for finding information about federal student loans. If you have federal student loans in the form of Stafford, Perkins direct, or consolidated loans, you may be eligible for a number of repayment options, including deferment, income-driven repayment plans, partial cancellation, or the Public Loan Service Forgiveness Program.
It’s important to note that these options are not available to volunteers with private student loans. If you have private student loans, you will need to contact your servicer directly to make an arrangement while you are in service.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is a federally offered loan forgiveness program provided to individuals who work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, eligible individuals can qualify for forgiveness of their loans after 120 qualifying payments. Usually, this means 10 years’ worth of eligible payments on your loans while you are employed full-time by eligible public service employers.
Individuals who serve in the Peace Corps or Americorps are eligible for the PSLF program. Volunteers are not required to make consecutive payments on their loans to be eligible for the PSLF, meaning if you leave a PSLF qualifying job but return to public service, your prior payments can count towards your 120 total.
Contact a Skilled Arizona Student Lawyer Today
Choosing to volunteer with the Peace Corps or Americorps is a great way to give back after your education. However, graduates must be aware that they are still responsible for making arrangements for their student loans. Volunteers in these programs are often eligible for federal student loan perks for repayment. Choosing the right repayment plan for you will depend on the types of student loans you have along with your financial situation and career path. If you are serving in the Peace Corps or Americorps, an experienced student loan attorney is a great resource for determining the best strategy for your loan situation.
At McCarthy Law, our attorneys are dedicated to helping students navigate the complexities of the student loan system. Under our student loan debt settlement program, our licensed attorneys negotiate with lenders to reduce the interest rate and principal balance of your student loans. At the end of a successful negotiation, our clients pay only a fraction of their original loan balance. To schedule a consultation with one of our skilled student loan settlement attorneys, call (855) 976-5777 or fill out our online contact form.