Student loan debt is higher than ever, and the burden on new college graduates can be severe. In fact, research shows that it will take most graduates nearly 20 years to pay off their loans.
If you’re a healthcare professional in Arizona, you might be able to qualify for student loan forgiveness through the Arizona Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). The program is designed to encourage healthcare professionals to work in underserved areas of the state.
Student loan forgiveness for healthcare professionals
The program is open to physicians, dentists, midwives, mental healthcare providers, pharmacists, and physician assistants.
The Arizona SLRP provides up to $65,000 in repayment assistance for physicians and dentists in return for a two-year commitment. Other healthcare professionals can get up to $50,000.
If you decide to stay in the program longer than two years, you can get even more money. Physicians and dentists can receive $35,000 a year for every additional year of service, and other healthcare providers can get $25,000 per year.
What to do if you don’t qualify for Arizona loan forgiveness
Unfortunately, forgiveness programs in Arizona are limited. If you’re not a healthcare professional, you are responsible for repaying your loans on your own. However, if you’re struggling to make ends meet, it’s important to know there are other ways to make your loans more manageable.
Apply for an income-driven repayment plan
If you have federal student loans, you can apply for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. Under these plans, your loan servicer will extend your repayment term and set your monthly payment at a percentage of your discretionary income. Depending on your loan balance, family size, and income, you could have a payment as low as $0.
Your may also be able to have your loan forgiven after 20-25 years. However, be aware that you'll have to pay taxes on the forgiven balance.
Consider student loan refinancing
If you have private loans or a mix of federal and private loans, another option is to refinance your student loans. With this option, you work with a private lender to take out a new loan for the amount of your current ones. The loan will have completely different repayment term than the old ones, including a new monthly payment, interest rate, and repayment term.
If you need help with your monthly payment, you can extend your repayment term and dramatically reduce your monthly bill. Or, you can get a lower interest rate and become debt-free faster.
Find out how much you can save and get quotes from lenders in just a few minutes with our refinancing calculator.