Public Service Loan Forgiveness for Healthcare Providers

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Many doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who provide vital care rely on their entire salary to pay their bills, and without some form of student loan forgiveness or repayment assistance, it would be impossible for them to practice.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is an outstanding benefit for qualifying healthcare professionals who provide a public service and have medical, dental or healthcare-related loans. The program provides student loan forgiveness to recipients and is aimed to incentivize those who would otherwise be unable to practice services such as healthcare because of the high costs of education and large amounts of debt.

Created as a part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, the program allows qualifiers who hold jobs in a federal, state or local public office, or an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) non-profit qualify for loan forgiveness. This means doctors, nurses, dentists, psychologists, physical therapists, and many other healthcare professionals who work for a tax-exempt organization are eligible. Many residencies and fellowships take place within these types of organizations, meaning residents with loans are eligible for assistance.

Providers working at for-profit organizations or non-profits not 501(c)(3) eligible (not tax-exempt) are unable to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Healthcare providers in private practice, such as self-employed dentists, physicians, or chiropractors, will also not qualify for the program.

A list of definitions, including more examples of public service organizations, can be accessed here.

Many jobs in public health also potentially qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. These include nursing, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care practitioner occupations and health care support occupations at any entity that qualifies for IRS 501(c)(3) tax exemption.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is ideal if you wish to pursue a full-time public service career after graduation and have a direct federal loan balance. Average student loan debt is already over  $30,000 USD, and The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates that 25% of American workers qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, but do not take advantage of it.

To learn more, take a look at some of our other articles:

Student Loan Forgiveness Program: Guide for Healthcare Professionals

Income Driven Repayment Plans for Student Loans

Are You a Healthcare Professional and Interested in Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Application Process

Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Frequently Asked Questions

The Future of Public Service Loan Forgiveness


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