Students in Maine have the 7th highest student loan debt in the nation. That’s according to the latest research from the Project on Student Debt which also shows, on average, students graduating in 2012, from both 4-year public and private institutions walk away owing almost $29,500. The figures are perhaps more daunting when you consider that 67% of those same students carry student loan debt, whether they’ve graduated or not.
Those figures do not include those already working who will carry that student loan debt well into their careers. Nationally, Americans owe $1.2 trillion in student loans; figures for Maine are not tracked. The news seems depressing—but there is now a way for public sector employees, like educators, to walk away from student loan debt without making another payment through a federal loan forgiveness program. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)?
The purpose of this federal program is to support people in public service jobs, like teaching. Under this program, qualified employees with student loan debt may be eligible for loan forgiveness on the remaining balance of their Direct Loans after making 120 on-time, full, scheduled monthly payments.