Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers

General Requirements

To be eligible to participate in the Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You received a Stafford Loan through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) and/or the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.
  2. You are a new borrower. You are considered a new borrower if you did not have an outstanding balance on an FFEL or Direct Loan on October 1, 1998, or you obtained an FFEL or Direct Loan after October 1, 1998.
  3. You have been employed for at least five consecutive, complete school years as a full-time teacher in an elementary or secondary school designated as a low-income school. To find out whether your school is considered a low-income school view the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits. Note: All schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) are considered low-income schools for teacher loan forgiveness purposes.
  4. You are not in default on the loan for which you are requesting forgiveness (unless you have made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the holder of the loan).
  5. You have not received a benefit for the same teaching service through the AmeriCorps Program.
  6. At least one of your five years of qualifying teaching services must be after the 1997-98 academic year.
  7. You received the loan for which you are requesting forgiveness before the end of your fifth year of qualifying teaching.

Forgiveness Amount

You may receive up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness if:

  • Your five years of qualifying teaching service began before October 30, 2004, and you were:
    ** A full-time elementary school teacher who demonstrated knowledge and teaching skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and other areas of the elementary school curriculum; or
    ** A full-time secondary school teacher who taught in a subject area relevant to your academic major
  • Your five years of qualifying teaching service began on or after October 30, 2004, and you were a highly qualified full-time elementary or secondary school teacher

You may receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness if you were:

  • A highly qualified full-time mathematics or science teacher in a secondary school; or
  • A highly qualified special education teacher whose primary responsibility was to provide special education to children with disabilities. In addition, you must have taught children with disabilities that corresponded to your area of special education training and demonstrated knowledge and teaching skills in the content areas of the curriculum that you were teaching.

Applying for Loan Forgiveness

You must complete a Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application and return it to the holder(s) of the loan(s) for which you are requesting forgiveness. The chief administrative officer of the school where you performed your qualifying teaching service must certify on the application that your teaching service met the requirements for loan forgiveness for all five years.

To obtain a Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application, contact your loan holder.