SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

September 23, 2013

Student loan forgiveness

KIMBERLY P. MITCHELL DETROIT FREE PRESS Katelyn Lietz of Livonia, Mich., hopes to land a teaching job in Michigan to qualify to have $40,000 in student loans forgiven.

Student-loan forgiveness takes more than faith

Find additional advice at  .


Corey Nelson, 27, graduated from Michigan State University’s law school in 2012 with a plan to work his way out of six figures in student-loan debt. • His goal was to work in public service by getting a job as an attorney for the government, maybe on the state or local level, and qualify for a federal student-loan forgiveness program to tackle that debt.

First challenge: getting hired in a government job. It’s not all that easy.

Many students would like to see their student loans just go away. But getting rid of student loans can take real talent, discipline and some creative solutions.

Many students and parents aren’t even aware that some loan-forgiveness programs exist. A federal consumer-watchdog agency is trying to bring more light to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program created by Congress in 2007.

A student-loan forgiveness program typically rewards graduates for taking careers in public service, such as police officers, teachers, social workers and firefighters. The college graduate still makes regular monthly payments on a student loan but can look forward to having a good chunk of debt forgiven in the long run, if he or she follows specific requirements.

Some individual states have specific student-loan breaks for specific career choices, too.

As for Nelson? He has a job. But Nelson has been working for a year at a small general-practice law firm in Shawano, Wis. If he kept working there, he wouldn’t qualify for public-service loan forgiveness.

But, finally, he found a government job. He just accepted a job offer from the city of Madison, Wis.

For the debt-forgiveness program to work, he’s going to need to keep making payments for 10 years and continue working in public service.

“The hope, obviously, is that the program will still be there,” said Nelson, who pays about $400 a month in loans and expects to save five figures with forgiveness.

Katelyn Lietz, 25, a senior majoring in mathematics at Wayne State University in Detroit, said she might be able to get a break with the federal public-service loan-forgiveness program on about $40,000 in student debt — if she finds a job as a teacher.

But Lietz says that is a big if.

She works as a substitute teacher and said finding a teaching job in Michigan is difficult. She might have to move to Virginia or Arizona.

Her plan to get out of debt involves getting a job as an actuary at an insurance company or elsewhere in Michigan. She expects starting salaries to be around $70,000.

Mark Kantrowitz of   said graduates have to take care with their career choices to qualify. He noted that some nurses could qualify if they work in certain areas, such as social work, public health or at a not-for-profit hospital. But nursing itself isn’t necessarily considered a public-service occupation.
Cut college costs
• The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has created a tool kit about the federal forgiveness program: http://  f/201308_cfpb_public-  service-toolkit.pdf

• An action guide for employees: http://files.consumer-   pledge-action-guide-for-employees.pdf

• The group American Student Assistance offers income-based repayment calculators and tips at

Source: Detroit Free Press research

((There needs to be so much more available help to insure that we in fact do have “Future Leaders of the Free World”  It takes all of us to care and be informed.    . . . THIS IS A GOOD THING   Jan)


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