Nonprofit releases comprehensive guide to student loan forgiveness and discharge

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Student loan borrowers have a new first-of-its-kind guide to help them navigate the dizzying patchwork of available programs to forgive or discharge college debt. SALT™, a free student loan and financial education resource created by the non-profit American Student Assistance®, has released “60+ Ways to Get Rid of Your Student Loans (Without Paying Them).”

Student loan forgiveness and discharge are programs instituted by the federal government, as well as some state governments, organizations, and businesses, which eliminate all or part of a student’s loans if he or she qualifies. These options exist to help borrowers shoulder the burden of student debt if they give back to their community, work in fields or areas of need, or face unpredicted, extenuating circumstances.

With student debt topping $1 trillion and surpassing credit card debt in the United States today, many former college students are struggling to repay education loans in a difficult job market. Loan forgiveness and discharge can be a lifeline for these borrowers, but until now many of these programs have gone unknown and underutilized.

“In our day-to-day work helping student loan borrowers manage their debt, we found there was no comprehensive listing of student loan forgiveness and discharge opportunities,” said Betsy Mayotte, ASA director of compliance. “We designed this resource to help borrowers discover, access, and learn more about available options, all in one place.”

“60+ Ways” is an easy-to-navigate ebook that lists loan forgiveness options available for community service, specific professions, military service and residing or working in specific states. The guide also outlines the major circumstances for a loan discharge: closed school or school error, disaster, financial hardship, fraud and medical reasons. 

The guide highlights eligibility criteria, qualifying loans, and the steps for pursuing an option—including links to the forms needed to apply. There’s also a glossary at the end of the book, as well as additional links and references. 

The ebook is the latest creation from SALT, which recently launched its “Face the Red” campaign to compel and empower young people to take control of their student debt on a practical, day-to-day level. SALT is also hosting a sweepstakes with three $10,000 prizes to put toward existing loans or the cost of education. Students and recent graduates can enter the sweeps on FaceTheRed.com through June 30.

About SALT & ASA: SALT is a free educational resource that provides simple, smart, personalized ways for college students and recent graduates to take control of their student debt and manage their finances. With a combination of helpful tools, tailored information, and unbiased expertise, SALT helps young people borrow less, borrow smart and repay their loans in a way that works for them. SALT was created by American Student Assistance, a nonprofit organization with 50+ years’ experience helping people make better decisions about financing their education and repaying student loans.