Your mental health may suffer because of managing your student loan debt.
How big of a toll it has on you depends on how much debt you have from higher education, how much money you make, and where you live.
According to information from The Institute of College Access and Success, the average student loan debt for graduates in Virginia in 2019-2020 was $29,616. (TICAS).
If you live in the Old Dominion and have student loan debt, Virginia offers possibilities for loan forgiveness.
We’ve already done the legwork for you by compiling a list of programs that can assist with student debt payments.
Who is eligible for the Virginia Student Loan Forgiveness?
This award may be available to you if you work as a doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, dentist, mental health professional, registered nurse, or pharmacist.
When applying for a license in Virginia, you must be a citizen or resident of the United States.
Additionally, you need to be employed full-time at an appropriate site and be practicing there (or have a contract to do so).
How to Apply for the Student Loan Forgiveness in Virginia
Click here to submit an application for the Virginia Student Loan Repayment Program.
Remember that only specific times of the year are when applications are accepted.
Options for Virginia Student Loan Forgiveness
There are a few student loan forgiveness and loan repayment help options that are just available in Virginia.
Here are some alternatives to think about;
1. Virginia State Loan Repayment Program
Virginia’s State Loan Repayment Program is one of the ways to get rid of college debt there (VA-SLRP).
It is intended for medical and healthcare workers who provide services to the public and work in locations with a declared scarcity of personnel.
The rules are available for review here.
Eligibility: Applicants must be employed in a designated health professional shortage area as a pharmacist, behavioral health professional, medical or dental professional, or both (HPSA).
Forgiveness Amount: Up to $140,000 in forgiveness is available.
Requirement of Service: A minimum of two years, and a maximum of four years, of service are required.
2. Virginia Loan Forgiveness Program (VLFP)
In Virginia, there are two options that are comparable for graduates of the University of Virginia School of Law to have their student loans forgiven.
The VLFP I program is designed for law graduates who graduated in 2012 and earlier.
It is a distinctive program because there is no asset or earnings cap for eligibility.
If your income or savings are higher than average, you may still be eligible.
Eligibility: Must have graduated from law school between the classes of 2002 and 2012 and be current on all loan payments.
Candidates must apply within two years of graduating or wrapping up a judicial clerkship and be employed in the public sector.
Amount of forgiveness: Varies, but may reach 100% of loans.
Requirement of Service: Each year that you fulfill the program’s service requirements by working in the public sector, you are eligible for loan forgiveness.
Virginia Loan Forgiveness Program (VLFP II)
For law school graduates from the Class of 2013 and after, there is the VLFP II program, since that program is phased out for many grads.
Eligibility: Must be a 2013 graduate and employed in government with an annual salary of less than $85,000.
Within two years of graduating or finishing a judicial clerkship, applicants must be employed in the public sector.
If you make less than $65,000 a year, you can have up to 100% of your qualifying law school debt forgiven.
The amount of loan forgiveness is prorated and adjusted according to income if you make between $65,000 and $85,000 annually.
Service requirement: You can receive loan forgiveness for up to 10 years if you meet the program’s eligibility requirements and work in public service throughout that time.
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3. Virginia Loan Commonwealth Plan (VLCP)
The VLP I and VLFP II programs at the University of Virginia School of Law were expanded in 2014 to accept graduates who were employed in the private sector and who met the necessary criteria. The Virginia Loan Commonwealth Plan is what the program is known as.
Eligibility: Graduates in the private sector from the Class of 2013 and later are eligible.
Graduates have to bring in less than $85,000.
The borrower must be enrolled in an IBR or PAYE repayment plan.
Forgiveness Amount: Graduates who earn less than $65,000 can get 100% of their student loans forgiven through the IBR or PAYE programs.
The amount is forgiven if you make more than $65,000 and is prorated based on your income.
No commitment is necessary, and you are eligible for each subsequent year as long as you continue to be so.
There was a Virginia Physician Loan Repayment Program as well, but as of the time of writing, the program was not funded.
If there are any changes to the material or if more money becomes available, check back with the state’s debt payback program website.
You might want to check this: Guide to Student Loan Forgiveness in California
Federal Programs for Student Loan Forgiveness in Virginia
In Virginia, you’ll probably need to be employed in the legal or medical fields if you want to get rid of your student loans.
Federal student loan forgiveness programs are available, and even if you don’t fulfill the standards, you can still be eligible.
Sadly, private student loans are not eligible for this program.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program may be available to you if you work in the public sector (PSLF).
After making 10 years of payments, eligible applicants can participate in this program and have the outstanding balance on their federal student loans canceled.
Eligibility: You must complete 120 payments while working full-time for a public sector employer who is eligible.
Amount of forgiveness: The remaining sum after ten years.
10 years of public sector experience is a condition for service.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
You might be eligible for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program if you’re seeking Virginia student loan forgiveness for teachers.
If you have taught full-time for five years (they must be academic years that follow one another) at a recognized educational service organization or low-income school, you may be eligible.
Eligibility: Five years of teaching experience at a recognized institution or organization.
You must be employed at an elementary or secondary school and be regarded as “well qualified.”
$5,000 to $17,500 in forgiveness, depending on the subject you teach.
Five years of service are necessary.
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You can select income-driven repayment alternatives if you have federal student loans (IDR).
After the 20- to 25-year repayment period, any outstanding balance will be waived.
You don’t have to be employed in the public sector, and your monthly contributions are only 10% to 20% of your discretionary income, in contrast to PSLF.
Make payments toward your student loans under Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), or Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) plans.
Based on your repayment strategy, the remaining sum will be forgiven after 20 to 25 years.
No service requirement.
Virginia College Loan Discharge
Previously, certain universities in Virginia were de-accredited and shut down.
As a result, the U.S. Department of Education offered Virginia college loan discharge as a choice to help eligible borrowers discharge their student debt.
If you were enrolled at the time the school closed or were on an authorized leave of absence, you are qualified for a Virginia college loan discharge.
In addition, you might be eligible if your school shuts down between 120 and 180 days (depending on when your loans were disbursed) following your withdrawal from studies.
Private Student Loans
It is not legally compulsory for private student loan providers to take part in loan cancellation schemes.
Unless the lender specifically stated you could cancel your loans in particular situations, they have the discretion to do so.
There are certain significant lenders with restricted loan discharge programs, such Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo, for situations like the borrower’s death or total and permanent disability.
Talk to your lender if you have any concerns and review your loan contract to see if there are any cancellation clauses.
You can complain about student loans to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau(CFPB) if your lender is unable to provide you with accurate information.
Be advised that you must disclose any loan cancellations to the IRS for tax purposes.
The money you no longer owe on a loan is treated exactly like income, according to the theory (if a lender cancels a loan).
Consult a tax expert for additional details.
Despite the limited number of student loan forgiveness alternatives available in Virginia specifically, you should have a look at the Virginia state loan payback program and the other possibilities mentioned above.
You can pursue the Virginia student loan forgiveness and later receive student loan relief by considering all of your alternatives.
Examine whether student loan refinancing can assist make your debt repayment more manageable if you want to quickly cut your interest rate.
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