South Carolina college graduates who leave college with hefty student loans on their backs might wonder just how they are going to get these loans paid back. The daunting future of several loan payments might seem overwhelming, but students do have options to get help with their loans. Through the Congress Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress made it possible for college graduates to participate in a South Carolina student loan forgiveness program.
What Is Loan Forgiveness?
Loan forgiveness means a portion of college graduates’ loans can be written off after a certain period of time. There are a few strict requirements that must be met to qualify for this program.
There must be 120 consecutive full monthly payments made before forgiveness of the loan can occur. This means graduates must pay their full, required monthly payment on time or within the 10 or 15 day grace period their loan allows. These payments cannot start until the scheduled payments were required. This means any payments made before the 6 month grace period ended or any loans in deferment or forbearance do not count. Any payments made prior to October 2007 also do not count because the program did not go into effect until then.
In order to qualify for the loan forgiveness program, graduates need to hold a full-time job in a public service position. This includes any jobs within a government agency, including federal, state and local government. It also includes employment with a public or private non-profit agency. This can include jobs, such as teachers, lawyers, doctors and in the military.
Your job must be considered full-time, which depends on your employer’s definition of full-time. Many companies consider at least 30 hours full-time, but each employer is different with their requirements. If you hold several part-time positions that equal 30 hours per week, you can qualify as well.
You must hold a full-time position for the length of time it takes to receive your loan forgiveness. This encompasses when you apply for your loan forgiveness program, while you make your 120 monthly payments on your federal loans, as well as at the time of loan forgiveness.
It is required for you to keep track of your eligibility over the 10 years over which the qualification process takes place. You do not have to hold the same job throughout the ten years, but you do have to remain in the public service industry and remain full-time. Acquiring annual proof of your employment will help you stay qualified for the South Carolina student loan forgiveness program.