If you're lucky enough to live in Florida — the state with beautiful sandy beaches and sunny weather — you should know what the state offers in terms of student loan relief. Florida, like other states, offer opportunities to cancel, or discharge, all or part of your student loans.
The state offers two programs, designed for two specific careers or fields that meet a need in the state. In essence, these programs give some Floridians a way out of their debt.
If you're a resident, here are the state programs offered to you.
Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program
Are you a nurse in the state of Florida? You may qualify for up to $16,000 a year in loan repayment aid over four years. The goal of this program is to reward those working with underserved populations and in low-income areas. Applicants must be licensed as an LPN, ARNP, or RN in Florida and must work full-time in areas designated to have critical nursing shortages.
Eligible sites for employment include:
- State-operated medical and health care facilities
- Public schools
- County health departments
- Federally sponsored community health centers, and
- Certain teaching and children’s hospitals.
Applications are accepted each quarter.
Florida Bar Foundation Loan Repayment Assistance Program
For lawyers employed at Florida legal aid and legal services organizations, this program offers up to $5,000 per year. This effort is meant to boost recruitment and retainment of legal aid and legal services staff attorneys at Florida Bar Foundation partner organizations.
This assistance program works a little differently in that, if you apply and qualify, the Florida Bar Foundation gives you a loan of up to $5,000 that you'll use to pay down on your student loans. Applicants must remain employed at least part-time for the entire year, and at the end of that year, the foundation will forgive its loan to you. If you keep working at the qualifying organization, you can get another loan.
More information is available at the Florida Bar Foundation website.
Loan forgiveness programs offered by Florida aren't the only way to cancel some of your debt. In fact, one of the best known is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, a federal program that forgives student loan debt if and after you make 120 qualifying payments.
Teachers, medical professionals and military personnel also have opportunities for loan cancellation.
If you don't qualify for student loan forgiveness programs, there are still other ways for you to pay down your debt without going broke. Consolidation and refinancing are two common ways that people use as a way to get a grip on their finances. Find out which option is best for you.