Careers that Pay Off (Student Loan Debt, That Is)
Explore careers in public service or nonprofit sector that offer Public Debt Forgiveness
For those who have taken out a large amount of student loans, not all hope is lost. There are careers in public service and nonprofit organizations that will help pay off your student loan debt. With the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, you can serve your community while also having the benefit of being released from your debts. These types of jobs include a wide variety of skill sets and interests, so finding a job that offers the PSLF is made easy.
In addition to holding a career in one of the following fields, there are a couple of requirements in order to be eligible for the PSLF. First, the borrower must have been making at least 120 qualified monthly payments toward their student loan debts. In other words, they must be on top of making their full payments and avoiding being placed into default. The other major requirement for the PSLF is that the employee must be working in public service for at least 10 years unless they are working as a teacher.
If you decide to work in one of the following fields, you may be eligible to have your student loan debts forgiven.
- Nonprofit employee
Working at a nonprofit organization is a viable option to many graduates who seek purposeful employment with benefits. Another plus of working in the nonprofit sector, is the fact that these types of jobs are diverse and inclusive of many different interests. There are organizations that focus on affordable housing, survivors of domestic violence, or prevention of animal cruelty. Working at a nonprofit organization is an excellent way to engage with your local community and make a difference.
- Civil Servant (Government Job)
Government jobs qualify for PSLF programs, at all levels. This includes being employed at city, such as a public librarian. Government jobs typically offer other benefits to employees as well, such as 401K plans, health insurance, or paid time off.
Working as a teacher not only makes you eligible for the PSLF, but also for a couple more debt forgiveness programs. Teachers have unique opportunities for loan assistance such as the
Teacher Loan Forgiveness and the Teacher Cancellation for Federal Perkins Loans. Under these programs, teachers may have their student loan debts forgiven after only 5 years. In addition to these programs, teachers who work in highneed schools are given even more opportunities for loan forgiveness. For example, in Texas there is a program for teachers called The Teach for
Texas Loan Repayment Assistance Program. This program offers an annual contribution in loan forgiveness for up to $2,500. There are also other programs offered nationwide that offer assistance with paying off student loan debt such as Teach for America and AmeriCorps.
Believe it or not, there is also PSLF benefits for lawyers, as well. However, there are some restrictions in this frequently highpaid field. In order to be eligible for PSLF, the lawyer must be
working in public service, which usually means working on the lowerpaid end of the spectrum. There are many bar associations which offer student loan forgiveness and other benefits to lawyers, including the District of Columbia Bar and the D.C. Bar Association. Law school
graduates face one of the heftiest amounts of student loan debt, so taking advantage of these programs will tremendously benefit the graduate in the long run.
Another surprising job field that offers student loan debt relief is the medical field. Depending on the place of work, physicians may be eligible for the PSLF. These programs are typically offered in underserved urban and rural settings. Over 30 states have programs that offer student loan
assistance to employees. Just like the law school graduates, large numbers of medical students are desperately seeking out student loan debt assistance. According to the Association of
American Medical Colleges, 40% of graduates are looking for employment that will offer student loan debt relief.
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