This article originally appeared on the Motley Fool.
As the cost of a college education continues to rise, student loans become both more necessary and more burdensome. A study by One Wisconsin Institute revealed that on average, a graduate with a bachelor’s degree will take 21 years to repay their student loans — and the repayment period is even longer for those holding advanced degrees. If you’d like some help getting rid of your own student loan debt, consider taking part in one of these student loan forgiveness programs.
Teacher loan forgiveness
The Department of Education wants to encourage people to become teachers in schools serving low-income families, and it’s willing to reimburse such teachers by forgiving some or all of their student loans. If you teach full-time for five consecutive years at an eligible school, you can get up to $17,500 worth of federal student loans forgiven. And unlike some student loan forgiveness programs, you won’t be required to pay income tax on the canceled debt, which could save you four or five figures in taxes. The Federal Student Aid website has more details, including the eligibility requirements for this program.
Public service loan forgiveness
If you work for a government organization or not-for-profit company, the Department of Education may reward you by canceling some or all of your student loans. You must work full-time for a qualifying organization and make at least 120 monthly payments on your federal student loans. After the 120th payment, assuming you meet all the requirements, the Department of Education will forgive any remaining balance on your federal loans. As with the teacher loan forgiveness program, the canceled debt is tax-free. See the Federal Student Aid website to find out how to qualify for this program.