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Guide to Maine Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Student Loan Forgiveness in Maine
Jacqueline DeMarco
Jacqueline DeMarcoUpdated August 1, 2023
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Student loan debt can be quite the burden, which is why some Maine borrowers may want to learn more about their student loan forgiveness options. Keep reading for insight into Maine student loan forgiveness programs.

7 Student Loan Forgiveness Programs in Maine

To better understand what your options are for state of Maine student loan forgiveness programs, we’re going to break down what a few popular programs entail and what their eligibility requirements are. 

1. Maine Opportunity Tax Credit

Graduates of an associate, bachelor's, or graduate degree program from an accredited Maine college or university who live, work, and pay taxes in Maine may be able to qualify for the Maine Opportunity Tax credit program depending on what year they graduated. Loan forgiveness is granted in the form of an income tax credit.

2. Maine Dental Education Loan Repayment Program

Maine Dental Education Loan repayment program recipients can potentially qualify for student loan forgiveness if they practice primary dental care full time in an underserved area of Maine and in an eligible dental care facility. Program participants can be eligible for loan forgiveness for 25% of their original outstanding debt on an annual basis. 

3. Educators for Maine Loan Forgiveness Program

This merit-based loan forgiveness program helps support current Maine students pursuing careers in education or child care who plan to work in Maine after they graduate. Undergraduate students can qualify for $4,000 in forgiveness in the form of a loan and graduate students can qualify for $3,000. This reward is renewable for up to eight full-time semesters for undergraduate students and four full-time-equivalent semesters for graduate students.

4. Maine Health Professions Loan Program Forgiveness

Maine students who are pursuing postgraduate medical, dental, and veterinary education may be able to qualify for the Maine Health Professions Loan Program, which is a need-based loan of up to $100,000 over four years ($25,000 annually). Students who are participating in the Doctors for Maine’s Future Scholarship Program can’t qualify for more than $10,000 annually. To participate, students must be a Maine resident outside of their time spent in school for at least one year before their matriculation into medical school.

5. Maine Veterinary Medicine Loan Program Forgiveness

The Maine Veterinary Medicine Loan is a need-based, forgivable loan program for Maine students who plan to work as a veterinarian after graduation. Annual loan amounts are $25,000 and borrowers can qualify for up to four years of funding. Participants can qualify to have a portion of their loan forgiven in exchange for each year of eligible return service.

6. Alfond Leaders

Borrowers who live and work in Maine in a STEM-designated occupation for a Maine-based employer may be able to participate in the Alfond Leaders Student Debt Reduction Program. This program makes it possible to receive repayment for up to half of outstanding student loan debt when they apply to the program, as long as that amount does not exceed $60,000.

7. University of Maine School of Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)

University of Maine law graduates can apply for the University of Maine School of Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program which helps encourage graduates to pursue a career in public interest. This program offers forgiveness in the form of forgivable loans and recipients have to provide the Law School with a promissory note and commitment letter that confirms they intend to work in a law-related public interest position for at least a year after they receive this loan. Award amounts generally range from $1,500 to $4,000.

Applying for Maine Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

As previously outlined, all Maine student loan forgiveness for 2022 have varying application requirements and processes. It’s important that borrowers research application deadlines and requirements to find the best program to fit their needs. 

Can You Get State and Federal Student Loan Forgiveness?

If someone is struggling to manage their student loan debt or simply wants to get some help repaying it, they can apply for both federal and state student loan forgiveness programs. Researching and applying for a variety of programs can help borrowers find the right fit. 

Other Options to Pay Back Student Loans

If you decide that a Maine student loan forgiveness program isn’t the best path forward for you, you can consider these other options for making paying off student loans easier. 

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness

Generally, student loan forgiveness programs only apply to federal student loans not private student loans. If someone exhausts their state student loan forgiveness options, they may also be able to pursue federal student loan forgiveness programs. All federal student loan forgiveness programs have unique sets of requirements. For example, to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF), applicants must be college graduates who work for an eligible nonprofit organization or government agency.  

Student Loan Refinancing

If you don’t qualify for student loan forgiveness or simply don't see that it’s the right fit for you (these programs can have very strict career requirements), refinancing your student loans may be a better option. Refinancing your student loans involves replacing a current loan or loans with a new one through a private lender. If you can qualify for a lower interest rate, they can save money on interest and it can be easier to pay back their loans faster. It’s worth noting that refinancing has pros and cons, and one con is that refinancing a federal student loan into a private one does cause the borrower to lose valuable federal protections like income-based repayment plans for the amount that is refinanced.Borrowers who aren’t sure if they should refinance student loans may want to crunch the numbers on how much they can save by doing so.

Income-Based Repayment Plans

Speaking of income-based repayment plans, federal student loan borrowers who are struggling to make their student loan payments because they are too high can apply for an income-based repayment plan that bases their monthly payments off their income. They can have their monthly payments reduced to as low as 5% of their discretionary income under President Joe Biden's SAVE Program.

Check Your Student Loan Refinancing Rate

A Maine student loan forgiveness program is a great way to alleviate some of the burden that comes with student loan debt. You may also apply for student loan refinancing. Check your student loan refinancing options with Lantern.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for Maine student loan forgiveness programs?
Can you get federal and state student loan forgiveness?
Does Maine have student loan forgiveness programs?
Photo credit: iStock/sara_winter

About the Author

Jacqueline DeMarco

Jacqueline DeMarco

Jacqueline DeMarco is a personal finance writer and editor based in Southern California. While she spends the bulk of her time writing about complex financial issues, she also tackles a variety of subjects ranging from food to fashion to travel. Her work can be found across dozens of publications such as Credit Karma, LendingTree, Northwestern Mutual, The Everygirl, and Apartment Therapy.
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