How to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness in Illinois | Review

Your ability to achieve your goals may be severely hampered by student loan debt. 

You can begin looking for strategies to get Illinois student loans out of your finances when you start to develop your life. 

The possibility of forgiving student loans may be helpful at that point. 

The good news is that Illinois residents can take advantage of a number of programs that are specifically available for borrowers there. 

So, regardless of where you live—in Chicago or the suburbs—you can benefit from debt reduction programs offered by the federal government and other organizations.

The Institute for College Access and Success estimates that the average student loan debt for Illinois graduates who will be leaving school in the 2020 academic year will be $28,552. 

These figures represent students who have completed four years of college or more. 

In Illinois, there were 1.7 million borrowers as of June 2020, according to data from the New York Fed. 

The average student debt balance at that time for the participants in the study—who received both federal and privately obtained loans—was $37,300.

It is evident that residents of Illinois can gain from loan forgiveness. 

You can use this guide to identify one of the student loan forgiveness options in Illinois that are available.

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Illinois Student Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs in 2024

You will have access to a number of student loan forgiveness and repayment aid programs as an Illinois citizen. 

These are specifically made to help you lessen the weight of your student loan debt. 

Let’s examine the Illinois student loan forgiveness and repayment schemes in more detail.

John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

State and federal public defenders and state prosecutors who agree to continue serving as public defenders or prosecutors for at least three years are eligible to participate in the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program. 

To borrow money, you must have either federal direct loans or family education loans. 

Up to $4,000 in rewards are available each year through the program. 

Additionally, the prize might be given to you more than once. 

The combined sum, however, cannot go over $60,000. 

Recall that you will be required to pay back any work obligation you fail to uphold.

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Criteria for Entry

  • You must be a legal resident of the US or a citizen. 
  • You need to still owe money on eligible loans. 
  • To practice law, you must be an attorney (or have accepted an employment offer) who holds a current license. 
  • If you prosecute criminal or juvenile delinquency cases at the state or unit level in the state of Illinois, including tribal government, you must be a full-time employee of that entity. 
  • You must work full-time for the State of Illinois or a local government agency (including a tribal agency) that represents poor people in criminal or juvenile delinquent proceedings, or
  • You must be employed in Illinois as a full-time federal defender attorney in a defender organization in accordance with Subsection (g) of Section 3006A of Title 18, United States Code
  • You must be employed in Illinois as a full-time employee of a nonprofit organization operating under a contract with Illinois or a unit of local government that devotes substantially all of the employee’s full-time employment to providing legal representation to indigent people in criminal or juvenile cases.
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Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program

The Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program is available to teachers in the state of Illinois who have Federal Stafford Loans and who teach in low-income areas. 

By consulting the Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory of the U.S. Department of Education, you can determine which low-income areas are eligible for this program. 

Illinois may offer up to $5,000 in matching loan forgiveness money if a teacher qualifies for the federal loan forgiveness program.

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Program for Repayment of Nursing Loans for Veterans

Through the Veterans’ Home Nurse Loan Repayment Program, if you are a healthcare professional who is currently employed in a veteran’s home, you are eligible to earn a $5,000 grant each year to pay down your student loans. 

You must be a credentialed physician, certified nurse practitioner, registered professional nurse, certified nursing assistant, or licensed practical nurse. 

As a condition of receiving the honor, you must serve a veteran’s home for a full year as a medical practitioner. 

The prize may be given to you up to four times under the program.

Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program

Aimed at assisting nurses in long-term career maintenance, the Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program. 

If you are a nurse educator who has been educating professional or practical nurses for at least a year at a recognized institution, you may be eligible for the award. 

You are eligible for an annual reward of up to $5,000 to pay off your student loan debt if you have completed your nursing degree. 

The reward won’t be available to you for more than four years.

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Eligibility Criteria

  • You must be a legal resident or a citizen of the US. 
  • You have to live in Illinois. 
  • You must still owe money on an approved loan. 
  • You must be a nurse educator who complies with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s standards for licensure. 
  • Prior to the date of each application for this program, you must have spent at least the previous 12 months working as a nurse educator training vocational or professional nurses in a recognized Illinois institution. 
  • You must not owe back payments on any Illinois Student Assistance Commission-managed grants or scholarships, or be in default on any federally guaranteed student loan (ISAC)
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Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs Available to Illinois Borrowers

Utilize the federal Illinois student loan forgiveness programs that are available to Illinois citizens in addition to state-sponsored or state-administered initiatives.

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1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Borrowers of Direct Loans for education who are enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan are eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. 

You must submit 120 qualifying monthly payments, all of which must be made on schedule, to qualify. 

You must fulfill employment requirements in addition to loan requirements if you meet them. 

PSLF requires participants to hold a full-time position with a government or nonprofit agency. 

Throughout the process of making eligible payments, the length of your employment with this particular sort of employer must remain the same.

2. Closed School Discharge

You might be qualified for a discharge if your federal student loans were taken out while you were enrolled in a now-defunct institution. Federal Family Education Loans, Perkins Loans, and Federal Direct Loans are among the loans that qualify. 

Depending on your particular academic status, the requirements change. 

However, there’s a chance that you’ll qualify for a complete discharge of your federal student loans.

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3. Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

Teacher Loan Forgiveness is a program that you may be eligible for if you work as a teacher. 

You can be eligible for forgiveness if you’re a teacher who has worked for five straight years at a low-income public school. 

The maximum payout is $17,500, although the amount of student loan forgiveness may vary. 

You will be eligible for a certain amount of loan forgiveness depending on the type of teaching you commit to. 

For the majority of topics, $5,000 is the maximum award. But the highest prize amount is $17,500 if you work in math, science, or special education.

4. Disability or death discharge

You might be eligible to have your federal loans discharged if you have a total and permanent disability. 

For this option, very severe documentation requirements apply. 

However, if the situation is challenging, it might be worthwhile. 

The loans will also be eligible for discharge in the event of the borrower’s death. 

Although the borrower cannot benefit from this, their loved ones may need to know this.

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What are the Criteria for Student Loan Forgiveness, in Illinois in 2024?

Illinois student loans may make your money feel tight. 

Don’t discount the chances provided by federal student loan forgiveness programs in Illinois as you consider your options.

Even while you might be lured to state-specific options, there are federal student loan forgiveness programs that can help you save money. 

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Therefore, consider all of your options as you advance with repaying your student loans. 

Contact our student loan advisers for help creating a clear repayment strategy that will optimize your savings.

How can you Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness in Illinois?

Federal officials have stated that the online application for student loan forgiveness will go live by “early October” and will remain open until December 31, 2023.

Officials advise you to register for a account if you don’t already have one, in order to get ready for the program. 

Along with email notifications, you can register online to receive SMS alerts as well. 

Logging in will allow you to verify your contact details if you already have an account. 

Some internet hints may enable you to log into your account if you haven’t in a long time. 

Officials estimate that only roughly 8 million creditors will automatically be forgiven because the federal government already has their income data, but the majority of borrowers will need to petition for the relief. 

An alert should be sent to you if you meet the requirements for automatic forgiveness.

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Additional ways for Illinois Residents to Repay their Student Loans

In Illinois and every other state, millions of Americans believe they are unable to make their current student loan payments. 

You may find one to get you going among the federal and state forgiveness programs accessible to you. 

If, however, you find that forgiveness is not in your future for any reason, keep looking into all of your other possibilities, such as private refinancing. 

If you aren’t eligible for any loan forgiveness programs due to your employment or the sort of loan you have, refinancing your student debt may be a wonderful choice for you. 

Also, if you’re thinking about refinancing, bear in mind that you might be able to lower your monthly payment, shorten the length of your payments by a few years, or even do both.

LendKey and Splash Financial are two of the most well-known refinancing businesses, so if you live in Illinois and are thinking about refinancing, we advise you to start by comparing your rates with them. 

Both businesses are marketplaces that will shop around for you and compare your rates with several lenders.

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The inhabitants of Illinois are accustomed to having student loan debt because the state is home to some of the greatest institutions and universities in the country. 

Notably, 1.7 million people are currently borrowers in the Prairie State, with an average student debt level of $36,531. 

In Illinois, borrowers frequently put off achieving their financial goals and desires for years since they are in debt for many years. 

However, there are four state-specific programs available to qualifying borrowers throughout the state that may provide some aid.


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