Law School Loan Forgiveness and Student Loan Repayment Programs
Updated On February 21, 2022
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If you’re looking for the best law school loan forgiveness and student loan repayment programs, you’ve come to the right place. If you have student loans from law school, you may be wondering how to pay off $100,000 of student loans or $200,000 of student loans.
For law school loan forgiveness and student loan repayment, you should consider programs such as income-driven repayment, public service loan forgiveness and other options to pay off student loans faster.
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Here are the best law school loan forgiveness and student loan repayment programs:
- Income-driven repayment plans
- Public service loan forgiveness
- Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAPs)
- Perkins Loan Cancellation
- Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program
- Student loan repayment: other options
Income-driven repayment plans
An income-driven repayment plan is best for attorneys with a low salary or who work for the government or a non-profit. If you’re struggling to pay federal student loans, then an income-driven repayment option may be best for you.
There are four main income-driven repayment plans:
- Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
- Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)
Importantly, your monthly student loan payment will be based on your discretionary income and family size. After 20 or 25 years, your remaining federal student loan balance can be forgiven. You may owe income tax on the amount of student loan forgiveness you receive.
Learn more: Ultimate guide to income-driven repayment plans
Public service loan forgiveness
Public service loan forgiveness is a program available for federal student loans. To get student loan forgiveness, you must work-full time for a public service or non-profit employer.
First, sign up for an income-driven repayment plan. Second, make 120 monthly payments for your federal student loan payments. After 120 payments, your remaining student loan balance can be forgiven. You won’t owe any income tax on the amount of student loan forgiveness you get.
You must have Direct Loans to qualify for public service loan forgiveness. If you have FFELP Loans or Perkins Loans, for example, make sure to consolidate your student loans.
Learn more: Public service loan forgiveness guide
Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)
Loan repayment assistance programs (“LRAPs”) provide financial aid to law school graduates who working in the public sector or for the government.
First, you can get a forgivable loan that can be used to pay for law school debt. In exchange for this loan, you may be asked to perform a service obligation. Once you complete this service requirement, your LRAP loan can be forgiven.
There are several types of LRAPs, including through your law school, state bar as well as state and federal governments.
- Law school LRAP: Learn whether your law school offers an LRAP. For example, Boston College Law School offers recent graduates who earn up to $57,000 for full-time work an annual award between $500 and $7,000.
- Statewide LRAP: There are 24 statewide LRAPs, which are available in the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska (two programs), New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia.
Learn more: Ultimate guide to student loan forgiveness
Perkins Loan Cancellation
Perkins Loans are a type of federal student loan that is issued by your school. While Perkins Loans were discontinued in 2017, you could be eligible for Perkins Loan Cancellation.
Perkins Loans cancellation is available for student loan borrowers based on employment or volunteer service and length of service. Eligible professionals include, among others:
- Police officers
- Librarians with a master’s degree at a Title I school
- Military service
- Public defenders
Contact your school to apply to get your Perkins Loans forgiven.
Learn more: How to get a lower student loan payment
Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program
If you are an attorney who works for the U.S. Department of Justice, you could get student loan forgiveness through the Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (ASLRP).
Importantly, only federal student loans are eligible. Therefore, your private student loans aren’t eligible for ASLRP.
To qualify, you will need to work at the Justice Department for at least three years. Overall, you can earn up to $60,000, with a maximum of $6,000 a year.
Learn more: How to pay off $200,000 of student loans
Student loan repayment: other options
Most student loan forgiveness options are limited to federal student loans or for lawyers who work for the federal government or a non-profit. For example, if you work at a law firm or for a private company, you likely won’t be eligible for student loan forgiveness for lawyers.
Therefore, you may want to consider another option for law school student loan repayment. Student loan refinancing is the process of exchanging your current federal and private student loans for a new student loan with a lower interest rate.
When you refinance student loans, you can get a lower interest rate, lower monthly payment or both. You can also choose a variable or fixed interest rate as well as a student loan repayment term of 5 to 20 years.
The goal of student loan refinancing is to save money and pay off law school debt faster.
Learn more: Compare the latest rates to refinance student loans.