Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) is a forgiveness program for federal student loans. It can forgive either $5,000 or $17,500 of your loan balance, depending on what subject you teach. The same years of teaching cannot toward toward both TLF and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
There are a few eligibility requirements that need to be met for this program.
Your loans have to qualify:
- Only FFEL and Direct loans are eligible.
- Loans in default are not eligible.
- There are some requirements around when your loans were taken out. You can read more at Federal Aid.
Your school or education service agency has to qualify:
- You have to teach at a school or educational service agency serving low-income students. You can search a directory here to see if your school is included. (If your school isn’t listed for this year, it should count if it was listed in your previous years of teaching.)
- Schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education also qualify.
Your employment has to qualify:
- You must be a full time, highly qualified teacher providing direct classroom instruction. That typically means that you have a bachelor’s degree, are certified by the state, and have never had that certification waived or suspended. There are more details at Federal Student Aid.
- You must teach for five consecutive academic years. At least one of those years must be after the 1997-1998 academic year.
- You can receive a maximum of $17,500 in forgiveness if you teach:
- Special education to elementary school students
- Special education to secondary school students
- Mathematics to secondary school students
- Science to secondary school students
- You can receive a maximum of $5,000 in forgiveness if you’re a highly qualified teacher for elementary or secondary school students.
Once you’ve completed five years of qualifying teaching, you’ll submit the Teacher Loan Forgiveness form to your loan servicer. You and your employer with both sign the form to confirm your employment.