It’s true what they say, “Real Heroes Don’t Wear Capes, They Teach!”  Teachers are the backbone of our education system.  They put in long hours, their patience is tried daily, they often use their own money for school supplies, and they educate the youth of America. Unfortunately, there is a need for student loan debt help for teachers. Although many teachers receive considerable benefits, such as health insurance, their income is often not high enough to meet their day-to-day expenses when student loan debt is factored in.

Teacher Student Loan Debt Help

Many teachers combine federal student loans and private student loans to pay for their education. The federal government has programs set in place to help those who are having trouble paying their federal student loans. There are other options for student loan debt relief for teachers which we’ll explain later in this post. Teachers can take advantage of more than one of the following federal student loan programs, just not at the same time:

  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness – You are eligible for up to $17,500 in federal student loan forgiveness, but you must meet certain qualifications such as teaching at a low-income school and having taught full-time for 5 consecutive years. You cannot be in default to take advantage of the federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness program.  Click here to read more on this program.
  • Teacher cancellation for Perkins Loans – You may be eligible to wipe out all of your Federal Perkins Loan if you meet the guidelines for this program, such as teaching low-income students, special education or teaching in a field where there is a shortage of qualified teachers. Click here to learn more about this program.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness – Under this program you’re eligible for federal student loan forgiveness of the remaining balance of your Direct Loan if you have made “120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer”. To learn more about the specifics of “qualifying” repayment plans and “qualifying employer”, go to the Federal Student Aid
  • Income-Based Repayment Plan – An Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR) sets your monthly payment amounts according to what you can afford, taking into account your income and household needs. Click here to learn more about qualifying for an Income-Based Repayment Plan.


Private Student Loan Debt Help For Teachers

Private student loans are a different animal than federal loans for a numbers of reasons.  Most are unsubsidized, meaning they are like a credit card payment in that you must start paying as soon as you receive the loan.  While many federal student loan borrowers can qualify for hardship options, that is not the case with private student loans.  This is one of the reasons why student loan debt has skyrocketed.  Another difference is that while federal interest rates for loans are fixed, private student loans include variable interest rate provisions and can fluctuate based upon economic factors and inflation.

Whether your loan is with Navient, Sallie Mae, National Collegiate Student loan trust or another lender – you have debt relief options if you can’t pay your private student loan debt.  You can find help with student loan debt for teachers! Start by contacting your lender and see if they will negotiate and accept lower monthly payments from you.  If your lender will not work with you and your payments go into default, then you will probably get sued in civil court for the total amount of debt that you owe, plus attorney fees. 

Before your case goes to trial, it is imperative that you try to reach a student loan debt settlement – either by yourself or with the help of a debt relief attorney.  Be aware of debt settlement companies (as opposed to a debt attorney), as they are not held up to the same standards of the law as attorneys and have come under much scrutiny lately for taking advantage of those in debt.


Student Loan Debt Settlement For Teachers

A student loan debt settlement is an agreement reached through a negotiation between the borrower (the teacher) and the creditor (the loan’s lender) for the borrower to pay a certain amount of the debt back.  In most cases, the amount agreed upon will be cents on the dollar in respect to the original debt amount.  The lender is likely to agree to a debt settlement because they will save the cost of going to court to sue you and they would rather receive something from you than chasing you around for years to collect on a judgement.


Student Loan Debt Collection Lawsuit For Teachers

If you decide not to pursue a debt settlement or a negotiation cannot be reached, then your case will go to trial.  You can defend yourself in a student loan debt collection lawsuit or you can hire an experienced debt relief attorney.  The lenders have experienced attorneys fighting for them, and so should you.   A debt attorney can scrupulously defend your lawsuit because they have an in-depth knowledge of the debt collection laws, they understand the complex courtroom procedures, and they know how to defend your legal rights. For instance, your lender’s attorneys may have delivered your lawsuit with improper service, you may have a counterclaim against the collection agency. A debt attorney can make sure the opposing counsel does not take advantage of you.


Student loan debt is a national dilemma.  Our teachers are working to make a difference in this country by educating the future of tomorrow. Educating our teachers on their options to relieve their student loan debt is necessary and the least we can do to give back.


Daniel R. Gamez, an attorney focusing exclusively on debt relief, is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in California and Texas. Mr. Gamez owns and operates the Gamez Law Firm in La Jolla, CA. For more information, please contact Daniel Gamez at 858-217-5051 for a FREE consultation, or use our online contact form. Stay updated with the latest debt relief tips by following on Facebook and Twitter!