Repaying your student loans can be a daunting task but with the help of good student loan advisor, you can take some of the sting out of it. An average student who owes $18,000 from a bank actually pays $40,000 in repayment. Loan consolidation obviously can reduce the second amount. But if you are a teacher, you will get numerous benefits. Benefits of loan consolidation for teachers are described below;
Under Federal Student Loan Consolidation Program you do not have to pay any payment in the first six-month after graduation. Perkins loans allow you grace period of 9 months. But interest continues to accrue on the loans so you should start making the payments as soon as possible.
Loan consolidation for teachers allows forgiveness of loans to particular teachers. There are actually two programs that offer student loan forgiveness for teachers.
- Stafford Loans
- Perkins Loans
With the Stafford loans program you are eligible from $5,000 to $17,500 if you meet certain requirements. An eligibility criterion is given below;
- You are teaching math, science or specialized subject to low income students.
- You must not have had active student loans on Oct 1, 1998.
- Your must be employed for 5 consecutive complete years.
- Your school must have been designated a low income school at least the first year you taught there.
- You are not in default on the loan in which you are asking forgiveness.
- Consolidation will not affect the right to forgiveness.
Perkins forgiveness program will forgive you up to 100% of your loans if you are;
- The school in which you are teaching has at least 30% students belonging to low income families, or
- You are teaching in a school f disable persons
- A full-time teacher of math, science, foreign languages, bilingual education, or any other field in which government of United States of America has declared the deficiency.
- Perkins loans are not eligible for forgiveness if they have been consolidated.