Student Loan Forgiveness Guide for Nurses and Medical Staff


    Granting of Loans to Nursing Students

    The average student graduated from college in 2021 with over $ 30,600 in debt. If you’ve attended a 4-year nursing program (or its equivalent), you’ve probably amassed roughly this amount as well.

    Take into account the cost of graduate school in case you want to advance your nursing career and expect to find around $ 60,000 in student loan debt.

    Even if you get a well-paying job that most nurses get after school, having a $ 60,000 loan hanging over your head is still stressful considering that student loan repayment isn’t your only responsibility, that you will have after graduation.

    If you are a nurse or health worker who really wants those pesky student loans to be gone forever, this post is for you. In today’s post, we provide you with some great resources that will help you get rid of most, if not all, of your loans.

    This guide is specifically for nurses, but you may also find this guide helpful: 80 Ways To Get Student Loans. Let’s dive in!

    Custom Hospital Loan / Tuition Repayment Programs

    Before looking elsewhere, find out if the hospital you will be working in after graduation has a tuition reimbursement program for nurses. This may require that you commit to working with the relevant hospital for 2 to 4 years after graduating from school.

    If this obligation doesn’t bother you at all, we recommend that you apply for such programs to pay off the loans.

    Military programs

    Several branches of the military will take over your nursing school loans for a set period of service. It is a win-win situation to serve your country with passion while paying off your loans at the same time!

    Please don’t do this just to pay off your loans, however. The repayment of your loans is simply an amazing benefit that our men and women in uniform receive to appreciate for their selfless service to the country.

    Military training benefits are a confusing field. We have a complete guide to all military and VA education and student loan benefits here.

    Nursing Corps loan repayment program

    The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (Nurse Corps LRP) recruits registered nurses and advanced practice nurses who are dedicated to work in qualified health care facilities with severe nursing shortages or in qualified nursing schools.

    In return, the Nurse Corps program pays up to 60% of your outstanding nursing student loan if you have been on duty for 2 years and an additional time; 25% if you choose a third year.

    In order for you to be able to pay the loans, the debt must be incurred prior to signing your first 2-year contract with the Nurse Corps.

    Check out our article on Student Loan Obtaining by State to see what’s available in your state.

    The process

    To be considered for Nurse Corps LRP, you must be employed in a Critical Deficiency Facility (CSF). A CSF is defined by the website as “a public or private nonprofit health facility located in, referred to as, or serving in an area with a lack of primary health care or mental health workers”.

    Alternatively, you would have to teach at an accredited nursing school where faculty is understaffed due to inadequate replacement of aging and retiring faculty in those schools.

    Here you can search for CSFs.

    There is an application process for this program and to be eligible you must meet the following requirements.

    • You must be a U.S. citizen (either born or naturalized), a U.S. citizen, or a Lawfun permanent resident.
    • Have a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in nursing (or its equivalent), a diploma in nursing, or a graduate degree in nursing
    • Be employed as a full-time RN, work at least 32 hours per week for a public or private nonprofit CSF OR be employed as a full-time NF member in a public or private, nonprofit, eligible school nursing service (see definition for Eligible Nursing School)
    • You have outstanding qualifying education loans that lead to a diploma or degree in nursing
    • have completed the nursing education to which the loan balance applies
    • Have a current, full, perpetual, unencumbered, unrestricted license to practice as a nurse in the state in which they wish to practice, or have a license to practice in that state which is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact.
    • If you intend to practice as a member of a tribal health program, you can be licensed in any state. A tribal health program is a Native American tribe or tribal organization that operates a health program or service that is funded in whole or in part by the Indian Health Service (IHS).

    The Nurse Corps LRP Customer Care Center is available at 1-800-221-9393 TTY – 1-877-897-9910 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for more information, application deadlines, and instructions.

    Nurses Perkins Loan Cancellation

    Full-Time Nurses can get 100% forgiveness if you received a Perkins loan while you were in school. The unique and great thing about this loan cancellation program is that both the principal amount of debt and the interest on the debt are canceled.

    Of course, as you may have guessed, in order for your Perkins loan to be canceled, you need to provide service. Currently, the government is offering the Perkins loan waiver for nurses who work full-time and care for patients directly.

    If you are a nurse but are not currently caring for patients directly – for example as a case manager or in some other administrative role – you will need to contact your school or government department of education to find out if your role is suitable.

    The process can take up to 5 years for a loan to be 100% waived. Another benefit is that a fixed amount of your loan (principal amount and interest) will be canceled every year, even if for whatever reason you are not eligible in subsequent years.

    Year 1 and 2:

    15% per year (30% loan cancellation after 2 years)

    Class 3 and 4:

    20% per year (total = 70% loan cancellation after 4 years

    Year 5:

    30% loan termination (total = 100% loan termination after 5 years)


    For the Perkins Loan Cancellation Program, it is up to your school to determine your eligibility for the program. If your school is closed, you will need to contact your state’s Department of Education for further action.

    If your school is not closed, you will need to contact your Chancellery or the office that processed your student loans during your stay on campus. Different schools have different deadlines by which you must submit your application. Call your school to find out when that particular date is.

    After submitting the required forms and paperwork to your school, it is up to them to decide whether you are entitled to partial or total cancellation of your loan.

    A couple of things to keep in mind:

    • You will not qualify for the Perkins Loan Cancellation Program if your loan is currently in default. If your loan is currently in default, you will need to reset it to its current status in order to be eligible for this program.
    • If you have all or part of your Perkins loan, you will most likely not receive this benefit retrospectively on the amount already paid.

    Public Sector Loans Program

    The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) awards the remainder of your loan balance after you have made 120 payments on your student loans under a qualified repayment plan while you work full-time for a qualified employer. This is a great program for both nurses and medical staff because the definition of “public service” is very broad.

    Qualifying employment includes work for government organizations, nonprofits that are exempt from tax under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code, or a qualified public service with a nonprofit organization.

    It’s important to note that your employer must be a nonprofit or the government (like the VA). Some nurses are contractors (meaning you get a 1099 instead of a W2) or they work for private practices. This does not qualify.

    Working for unions or bipartisan organizations, for-profit organizations, or for non-profit organizations that are not tax-exempt are all not considered qualified employment under this program.

    Your student loan will qualify for the PSLF if you have specifically received a loan under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) program. Perkins loans and other types of federal loans do not qualify for this program.

    The downside to this program is that it takes you 10 years to qualify as you need to have made 120 payments to cancel the rest of your loan balance.

    This particular program began in 2007 and so the first group of PSLF benefactors can be forgiven from 2017 (you can start submitting applications for the program from October 2017).

    You can find more detailed information on the procedure here: Guide to Public Sector Lending.

    Professional help for your loans

    If this sounds difficult or confusing, you can get professional help to determine which repayment or student loan program is best for you.

    We recommend The Student Loan Planner to help you create a solid financial plan for your student loan debt. cashbox The student loan planner here.

    Have you ever thought about granting student loans? We love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


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