Let’s face it; student loan debt can seem like an insurmountable mountain to climb for young healthcare professionals. In fact, many graduates with medical degrees say they’re feeling crushed by their federal student loan debt.
Luckily, there are student loan forgiveness programs available to help lessen the financial strain. Here are 4 to consider:
1. The National Health Service Corps
The National Health Service Corps operates a loan repayment program open to U.S. citizens who work as healthcare providers in certain fields. Qualifying professionals include primary care medical providers, dental care providers, mental healthcare providers, including psychologists, and others.
This program provides up to $50,000 in loan repayment funds for full-time workers or up to $25,000 in repayment help for part-time workers who work in a Health Professional Shortage Area for at least two years. The amount of available funding is determined based on a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) score that considers the level of need within each community and the specialization of the care provider.
Eligible medical professionals can submit an online application, although applications are accepted only during certain times of the year.
2. National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs
Health professionals interested in biomedical or biobehavioral research careers should know about the NIH Loan Repayment Program.
This program repays up to $50,000 per year of eligible educational student loan debt, capping each researcher’s annual award at 1/4 of the total eligible loan balance.
To become eligible, healthcare professionals must work in a qualifying research position either inside or outside of NIH. This could include but isn’t limited to, clinical research positions, jobs in pediatric research, research into health disparities, AIDS research, and research into contraception or fertility. Applications can be submitted to the NIH online.
3. The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program
The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program is designed for registered nurses who work in underserved communities at critical shortage facilities. The NCLRP supports registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, and nurse faculty by paying up to 85% of their unpaid nursing education debt.
Individuals who work at a qualified facility can get 60% of their student loans paid off over two years of employment. Borrowers have the option of getting an additional 25% of their loans paid off by the Nurse Corps program for a third year. In exchange, accepted applicants must work at least two years at a critical shortage facility or other appropriate locations in the United States.
4. The Army Active Duty Health Professions Loan Repayment Program
There are a few different types of loan forgiveness programs for nurses that join the military. One of the most popular options is the Army Active Duty Health Professions Loan Repayment Program. Both RNs and APRNs are eligible.
In exchange for enlisting in the Army, you can qualify for up to $120K to repay nursing loans in exchange for a minimum of three years of military service. This loan repayment program is three years long, and individuals receive $40K per year. In addition to the repayment funds, nurses can also earn sign-on bonuses for enrolling in the program. There are also options for Army Reserve loan forgiveness, which provides part-time, local options for Army Reserve nurses.
At Focus Staff, we offer the career guidance you need to pursue a career as a traveling ultrasound technician. We understand the ins and outs of healthcare professionals and have access to a wide variety of professional opportunities. To learn more, contact us today.