Refinancing 26 March 2023

Student Loan Forgiveness For Social Workers – A Complete Guide

The purpose of student loan forgiveness is to minimize the burden of student loan debt on social workers. Find out below which programs are accessible and how to apply.

Social workers provide essential services to communities and promote the well-being of our families and communities. Despite being a low-income profession,  getting a social work education is expensive and requires students to take out multiple loans. The purpose of student loan forgiveness for social workers is to encourage more people to join the profession by offering debt relief. Read on to learn more about the latest top 8 programs offered and how you, as a social worker, can get the most out of student loan forgiveness programs. 

What is Student Loan Forgiveness for Social Workers

By making student loan debt more manageable, student loan forgiveness programs improve social workers’ working conditions, enabling them to serve their communities better. Social workers have multiple loan forgiveness options, some of which include loan cancellation and discharge. By getting such a program, part of your debt will be paid for or forgiven. You may even find programs that will help you get all of your student debt forgiven.

Benefits of Loan Forgiveness For Social Workers

Student loan forgiveness has the following benefits:

  • Loan cancellation 
  • Federal and private loan forgiveness 
  • Low-interest rate for student loan refinancing 
  • Up to USD 50,000 in loan forgiveness 

Eligibility Requirements

The eligibility requirements for loan forgiveness programs tailored to social workers tend to focus on the type of loan and duration and nature of employment. To qualify for student loan forgiveness, you need to make less than USD 125,000 per year as a single borrower or less than USD 250,000 as a house household.

Loans That Qualify:

Most federal student loans qualify, including Parent PLUS Loans as well as undergraduate and graduate subsidized and unsubsidized student loans. Perkins loans and Federal Family Education loans (FFEL) that are not consolidated into a direct loan don’t qualify for forgiveness. Private student loans are also not eligible.

Top Loan Forgiveness Programs for Social Workers

There are various types of student loan forgiveness programs available for social workers. Consider any one of the following options available.

#1 Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program

The public service loan forgiveness program is for social workers who work for a non-profit or government agency. To be eligible, you must be a full-time employee and have made 120 qualifying payments under an income-driven repayment plan.

#2 Teacher Loan Forgiveness

The teacher loan forgiveness program is for teachers in low-income communities. To qualify, you must have been a full-time elementary or secondary school teacher for five academic years. FFEL program loans and direct federal loans are eligible for this program.

#3 Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge Programs

Perkins loan cancellation and discharge programs are for social workers working for non-profit child or family services agencies. To be eligible, you must be working for five years on a full-time basis in low-income, high-risk communities. 

#4 John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

John R. Justice, a loan repayment program, provides debt relief to public defenders and prosecutors. The program is named after the late Justice of South Carolina, John Reid, and is funded by the federal government.

#5 National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP)

This is another program offering loan forgiveness for social workers. The national health service corps loan repayment program gives debt relief to Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW). Both private and federal loans are eligible for this program, and you could get up to USD 50,000 in debt relief. 

#6 State Loan Repayment Programs (SLRPs)

State loan repayment programs provide student loan repayment assistance to primary care providers working in communities with a shortage of healthcare providers. The programs are available in all 50 states and U.S Territories, including but not limited to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

#7 Employer-Based Student Loan Repayment Assistance Programs

Employer-based student loan repayment assistance programs are benefits put in place by companies to assist their employees in repaying their student loans; examples of these programs include signing bonuses, Service-based assistance, and Recurring payments. Employees could get up to USD 5,000 in student loan relief. 

#8 Military Student Loan Forgiveness and repayment programs

There are multiple military student loan forgiveness and repayment programs by branch, including:

  • Air force judge advocate general’s corps loan repayment program, 
  • Active duty army student loan repayment, 
  • Air force college loan repayment program, 
  • Coast guard loan repayment program, 
  • National defense student loan discharge, 
  • Health professions student loan repayment program 
  • Army reserve college loan repayment program
  • Veterans total & permanent disability discharge (TPDD)

How to Apply for a Loan Forgiveness Program

The application for student loan forgiveness can be done online and is quick and straightforward. Follow the following steps to apply: 

  • Go to, click on debt relief
  • Fill out a short form with this information:
  • Full name 
  • Social Security Number 
  • Date of birth 
  • Email 
  • Proof of income (only in some instances)  

Alternatives to Loan Forgiveness

In the event that you don’t qualify for any of the previously mentioned loan forgiveness programs, consider the following alternatives.

Income-Driven Repayment (IDR)

Income-driven repayment reduces the burden of your student loan debt by calculating your monthly payments based on your income and family size. 

Student Loan Refinancing 

Student loan refinancing is when you allow a private lender to pay off your current student loans in exchange for a new loan with new terms and interest rates. It combines all your private and federal loans into one loan to simplify payments and make the debt more manageable. 


Student loan deferment allows you to reduce or postpone monthly loan payments for up to three years. Deferment helps you avoid defaulting on your loan while you work on your financial situation and does not damage your credit score.  


Which student loans are not eligible for forgiveness?

Perkins loans and Federal Family Education loans (FFEL) that are not consolidated into a direct loan don’t qualify for forgiveness. Private student loans are also not eligible.

Who qualifies for student loan forgiveness?

To qualify for loan forgiveness, you need to make less than USD 125,000 per year as a single borrower or less than USD 250,000 as a house household.

How to get student loan forgiveness for social workers?

The student loan forgiveness application can be made online at Fill out the form with the following information: Social Security Number, full name, date of birth, email, and proof of income in some instances.

Final Thoughts

Student loan forgiveness reduces the burden of student loan debt on social workers to ensure that they continue to provide our communities with services that promote the well-being of children, families, and older people. Social workers have multiple student loan forgiveness options at their disposal, which ensures that no one is left out. The application process is quick and easy to increase approval rates – just make sure to go through all the information before submitting to ensure you have best chance for a favorable outcome.