California Educator

February / March 2019

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o you have student loan debt that's weighing you down? You're one of many. According to Fidelity Investments, about 44 million Americans owe more than $1.4 trillion in student loan debt — a debt category second only to home mortgages. And the number of people taking on such debt is expected to double by 2025. Whether you're a millennial, Gen Xer or baby boomer, the burden of student loan debt can manifest itself in increased stress and postponement of major life decisions such as marriage, starting a family or buying a home. You might also contribute less toward your retirement or even delay retirement. e good news is that depending on your loan type, current teaching assignment and length of time teaching, you could be eligible for a loan cancellation or loan forgiveness for teaching in the public school system. CTA has information and resources to help members with the three federal student loan forgiveness programs: GUIDE CLOSE Important Note of Disclaimer Section 3: Teacher Loan Cancellation Program (Federal Perkins Loan) Section 1: Types of Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs and Other Questions Section 2: Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (Direct and Stafford Loans) Welcome Welcome › Here Welcome! Student loan debt is a burden many of us carry long after we finish our degrees. The California Teachers Association has put together this Guide to Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs as a way to help you learn about the Federal Student Loan Forgiveness programs available for educators. Take some time to read through this guide and learn how you can make the most of these programs. For more information, be sure to visit Though the California Teachers Association has researched and gathered the information in this guide, the CTA, NEA, and NEA MB staff are not experts in this field. We recommend that you do additional research and contact your loan servicer and the U.S. Department of Education to determine the best option for you. Are You Interested in Learning More About Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs? There are three federal student loan forgiveness programs available: The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program The Teacher Loan Cancellation Program The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Which allows you to reduce or eliminate your loan debt from several different types of loans. Applies to Direct and Stafford loans. Which allows you to reduce or eliminate your loan debt from Federal Perkins Loans. Which allows you to eliminate your loan debt balance and is available to people who enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs, including public education. This guide explains how each federal student loan forgiveness program works and gives you information to help you determine whether you may be eligible to participate in any of the programs. HOW This information. • • • • To button Student Loans Getting debt relief is complicated and confusing — but help is on the way D NEA Member Benefits' Sean Mabey, who presents workshops on student loan debt at CTA conferences and for individual chapters, says that each person's case is different. "It's highly personal," says Mabey, adding that many people do not even know what kind of loan they have. He tells members that after graduation, you should work with your loan servicer, such as FedLoan. The servicer can help determine, for example, how much debt you have and whether you have a Stafford or a Perkins loan. It gets complicated, he cautions. If your debt is high, a Public Service Loan Forgiveness program could be a good option for you, but it depends on other factors such as if you are married and file joint taxes, how many chil- dren you have, and new revisions to the tax code. Mabey suggests that you use a loan servicer's chat fea- ture — versus the phone — because conversations are 60 CTA & You M E M B E R B E N E F I T S

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