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New York State Student Loan Forgiveness, Explored

New York State Student Loan Forgiveness, Explored
Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman
Sulaiman Abdur-RahmanUpdated November 10, 2022
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New York has multiple student loan forgiveness programs. These student loan forgiveness NY programs can provide student debt relief to teachers, attorneys, health professionals, child welfare workers, farm operators, and recent graduates with modest income who need help getting on their feet. Below we highlight 10 state-based student loan forgiveness programs in the Empire State.

What Is Student Loan Forgiveness?

Student loan forgiveness is when your loan servicer cancels some or all of your debt on an education loan. Another form of student loan forgiveness is when an entity, such as the state of New York, provides a borrower with student loan repayment assistance.Such programs, including employer student loan repayment, can provide direct payments to a borrower’s outstanding student debt balance. These direct payments to your student loan servicer directly reduce your student loan debt burden, which is why such programs can be described as loan forgiveness programs.There are numerous student loan forgiveness programs by state, including New York State student loan forgiveness.

Which Loans Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness?

Federal student loans and private student loans may qualify for student loan forgiveness. The US Department of Education and lenders of private student loans, for example, may discharge a borrower’s debt in full if the borrower suffers a permanent disability and becomes unable to work.Beginning in July 2023, federal student loan borrowers with a total and permanent disability will have more pathways to qualify for a TPD discharge thanks to a new rule. The US Department of Education says the new rule takes effect July 1, 2023, which will offer TPD discharges to a wider group of borrowers, including those who may experience medical improvement. Getting a TPD discharge under existing rules requires borrowers to have a permanent disability with no expectation for medical improvement.Federal and private student loans may also qualify for forgiveness under certain state-based debt relief programs. The difference between private and federal student loans is that federal student loans are provided exclusively by the US Department of Education, whereas banks, credit unions, online lenders, and select state-based or state-affiliated organizations may offer private student loans.Private lenders generally have no obligation to offer debt forgiveness on private student loans. The federal government, meanwhile, has several programs and income-driven repayment plans that can provide a borrower with student loan forgiveness.Recommended: How Do I Find My Student Loan Lender?

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Here are some examples of federal student loan forgiveness programs:

Biden’s One-Time Forgiveness Plan

President Joe Biden’s administration in August 2022 announced a plan that would provide up to $10K or $20K in debt relief to federal student loan borrowers with annual incomes below $125,000 ($250,000 for married couples).Eligible borrowers may have to submit a federal debt relief application to receive the one-time forgiveness. Several plaintiffs have taken legal action challenging the legality of the Biden administration’s broad student loan forgiveness plan.Recommended: Will Biden’s One-Time Student Loan Forgiveness Happen?

Other Federal Relief Programs

Public employees with federal student loan obligations may have access to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The PSLF program can forgive the remaining balance on your federal student loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly repayments as a public employee.Branches of the US armed forces may offer military student loan forgiveness, and educators who teach in a low-income school may be eligible for up to $17,500 in federal student loan forgiveness under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program.The US Department of Education has several income-driven repayment plans — such as Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) — that may also lead to student loan forgiveness. 

10 New York Student Loan Forgiveness Options

Here are 10 student loan forgiveness NY state programs:

1. NYS Social Worker Loan Forgiveness

The NYS Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness program may provide up to $26,000 in student debt relief to eligible New Yorkers who serve as full-time licensed social workers in a critical human service area.Eligible participants can receive up to $6,500 per year over a four-year service period. This is a student loan forgiveness NY state program that can help eligible participants pay down federal and private student debt.

2. NYS Get On Your Feet

The NYS Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program may provide up to 24 months of federal student loan debt relief to recent college graduates who meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Have graduated from a NYS high school or received a NYS high school equivalency diploma
  • Have earned an undergraduate degree from a college or university located in New York State in or after December 2014
  • Apply for this program within two years of receiving an undergraduate degree
  • Have a primary work location in New York State, if employed
  • Have an adjusted gross income of less than $50,000
  • Are enrolled in the federal Income Based Repayment plan at 10% of discretionary income, the Pay as You Earn plan, or the Revised Pay as You Earn plan
This NY student loan forgiveness program is only available to eligible federal student loan borrowers paying off a student loan. Eligible New Yorkers enrolled in an IBR, REPAYE, or PAYE federal income-driven repayment plan can receive 24 monthly payments equal to their monthly payment amount under this program.Recommended: How Much Student Loan Debt Is Too Much?

3. NYS Young Farmers

The NYS Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program may provide up to $50,000 of New York State student loan forgiveness to eligible New Yorkers who operate a farm in New York State on a full-time basis.In addition to operating a farm, other eligibility criteria include the following:
  • Have an undergraduate degree from an approved NYS college or university
  • Have eligible federal or private student loan debt 
  • Apply for this program within two years after college graduation
Eligible participants may receive up to $10,000 per year over a five-year service period under this student loan forgiveness New York program.Recommended: Find Out How Much You Owe in Student Loans

4. Nursing Faculty Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program

The NYS Nursing Faculty Loan Forgiveness program may provide up to $40,000 of NY student loan forgiveness to nurses who meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • New York State resident
  • Have resided in the state for at least 12 continuous months prior to applying for this program
  • US citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Registered nurse licensed to practice in New York State
  • Possess a master’s degree in nursing or a doctoral degree for qualification as nursing faculty or as adjunct clinical faculty
  • Have an outstanding balance on eligible federal or private student loans
  • Employed as a nursing faculty member or as adjunct clinical faculty providing classroom or clinical instruction at a nursing school in New York State
Eligible participants may receive up to $8,000 per year over a five-year service period under this New York student loan forgiveness program.

5. Regents Physician Loan Forgiveness

The Regents Physician Loan Forgiveness Award Program may provide up to $10,000 in student loan repayment assistance per year to eligible doctors who practice medicine in an underserved community of New York State.Applicants must be a resident of New York and licensed to practice medicine in the Empire State to qualify for this student loan forgiveness New York state program. Doctors who have completed a professional residency program within five years of applying for the program may qualify for student loan repayment assistance under this program.

6. NYS Child Welfare Worker

The NYS Child Welfare Worker Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program may provide up to $10,000 per year in New York State student loan forgiveness to eligible New Yorkers who agree to work full time at a nonprofit child welfare agency in the Empire State.Applicants who graduated from a New York-based college and who provide direct child welfare care services may receive up to $10,000 per year over a five-year service period. The loan repayment assistance can cover eligible federal and private student loans.

7. Physician Loan Repayment

The Doctors Across New York (DANY) Physician Loan Repayment program may provide up to $120,000 over a three-year period to eligible physicians who practice medicine in underserved parts of New York. Applicants must be licensed to practice medicine in New York and in good standing with the state Department of Health to be eligible for student loan repayment assistance under this program.Recommended: Average Student Loan Debt for Doctors in 2022

8. New York City Loan Forgiveness Program

Mayor Eric Adams and the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation in July 2022 announced the Behavioral Health Loan Repayment Program. Funded by a $1 million contribution from an anonymous donor, this New York City student loan forgiveness program can provide tens of thousands of dollars in student loan repayment assistance to eligible psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers.Eligible participants can receive between $30,000 and $50,000 of debt relief in exchange for a three-year service commitment in New York City.Recommended: Guide to the Price of College Over Time

9. NYS Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

The NYS Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program may provide up to $5,000 per year in New York student loan forgiveness to residents of New York who teach in a state-based elementary or secondary school.Certified teachers who work full time at an eligible school in New York may receive up to $20,000 in debt relief over a four-year service period.

10. NYS DA and Indigent Legal Services Attorney

The NYS District Attorney and Indigent Legal Services Attorney Loan Forgiveness Program may provide up to $3,400 per year in student loan repayment assistance to eligible New Yorkers who have worked as a district attorney, assistant DA, or indigent legal services attorney in New York for between four to nine years. Eligible participants can receive up to $20,400 over a six-year service period.

The Takeaway

New York is a large state with at least 10 state-based student loan forgiveness programs. These debt relief programs can provide student loan repayment assistance to teachers, attorneys, health professionals, child welfare workers, farm operators, and recent graduates with modest income who need help getting on their feet in the Empire State.Eligible participants in a student loan forgiveness NY program may receive tens of thousands of dollars in student loan repayment assistance. Participants may have to live and work in the state of New York to qualify for NY student loan forgiveness.

3 Student Loan Tips

  • Once the pandemic-related pause on federal student loan payments ends, going back to making payments may be hard on budgets. One solution is to refinance to a lower interest rate, longer loan term, or both, depending on your situation. (The tradeoff is that you’ll be forfeiting federal benefits such as repayment programs.) Find and compare your student loan refinance options.
  • Paying extra each month on your student loan can reduce the interest you pay and so lower your total loan cost over time. (The law prohibits prepayment penalties on federal or private student loans.)
  • If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income school, you may be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness.
Compare student loan refinance rates without impacting your credit score.
Photo credit: iStock/Damir Khabirov
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Frequently Asked Questions

Does New York have student loan forgiveness programs?
What do you need to qualify for student loan forgiveness in New York?
Can you use NY 529 to pay for student loans?

About the Author

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman writes about personal loans, auto loans, student loans, and other personal finance topics for Lantern. He’s the recipient of more than 10 journalism awards and currently serves as a New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists board member. An alumnus of the Philadelphia-based Temple University, Abdur-Rahman is a strong advocate of the First Amendment and freedom of speech.
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