Great Lakes are a federal student loans servicer that helps borrowers better understand their loan and set up a repayment plan. If you want to pursue student loan forgiveness, it’s important to note that there is no specialized Great Lakes loan forgiveness program. However, as a federal loan servicer, Great Lakes offer eligible borrowers standard federal student loan forgiveness options.
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Great Lakes is a federal student loan servicer that helps borrowers better understand their loan and set up a repayment plan. If you want to pursue student loan forgiveness, it’s important to note that there is no specialized Great Lakes loan forgiveness program. However, as a federal loan servicer, Great Lakes offer eligible borrowers standard federal student loan forgiveness options.
What is great lakes student loan forgiveness?
Great lakes student loans forgiveness is possible through a variety of programs. Borrowers who meet certain criteria, such as working within a specific profession or for a government or nonprofit organization, would not have to pay back some or all of their eligible federal student loans.
Here’s a closer look at some of the Great Lakes loan forgiveness programs that might be available to you.
Income driven refund forgiveness
You can apply for an income-driven repayment plan to keep your Great Lakes student loan payment affordable based on your earnings and family size. The federal government offers four income-driven reimbursement (IDR) plans:
- Pay what you earn revised (REPAYE)
- Pay what you earn (PAYE)
- Income Based Payment (IBR)
- Income Contingent Payment (ICR)
You must move from your existing student loan repayment plan to an IDR plan to be eligible for Great Lakes student loan forgiveness. An IDR plan requires you to contribute 10% to 15% of your discretionary income over the course of 20 to 25 years. The remaining sum on your student loan is forgiven once you have completed your repayment term.
The caveat, however, is that the forgiven student loan amount is considered taxable income. If you choose to follow an IDR plan with student loan forgiveness, be sure to prepare for this tax liability to avoid surprises.
Check out Student Loan Planners’ IDR calculator to determine which income-driven repayment plan makes the most sense for you.
Public service loan forgiveness
If you work for a government or nonprofit organization, you may be eligible for student loan forgiveness under the PSLF program. PSLF forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you:
- Made 120 qualifying payments
- Made payments under a qualified IDR plan
- You worked full time for a qualifying employer when you made the 120 payments
Employers that qualify for PSLF include 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Such as major academic hospitals, foundations, private nonprofit universities, and the Red Cross. If you work for a local, state, or federal government agency, you may also qualify for the PSLF program.
After making 120 qualifying payments, submit your Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Forgiveness Application (PSFL application). The IRS does not consider amounts forgiven through PSLF program income. Which means you do not have to pay federal taxes on your forgiven loan balance.
Great lakes teacher loan forgiveness
If you teach full-time for five full, consecutive academic years at a low-income elementary or secondary school, or at an educational service agency, you may be eligible for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program, which forgives up to $17,500 in your Direct Loan or FFEL program loans. Low-income schools and educational service agencies are listed in the Teacher Layoff Low-Income Directory, which the US Department of Education publishes each year.
The maximum loan forgiveness of $17,500 is for:
- Highly qualified full-time math or science teachers who taught high school students
- Highly qualified elementary or secondary school special education teachers whose primary responsibility was teaching children with disabilities
- Borrowers who don’t teach math, science or special education could receive up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness. If they are a highly qualified full-time elementary or secondary school teacher.
You can apply for teacher loan forgiveness once you have completed five consecutive years of qualifying teaching. You will need to submit a Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application to Great Lakes. The administrative director of the school or educational service agency where you worked will need to complete the certification section. If you have more than one federal student loan servicer, you will need to submit a form to each one. Teacher loan forgiveness is not taxable.