Student Loan Forgiveness in Iowa: How Lawyers Can Help | 2023

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Navigating the path of higher education often comes with the significant challenge of student loan debt. In Iowa, this narrative is particularly prevalent, with 60% of the 2019-20 graduating class shouldering an average student loan debt of $29,560, according to The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS).

Fortunately, for those in Iowa, there are several student loan forgiveness programs that can serve as a lifeline in the journey toward financial freedom.

In this article, we will cover both state and federal student loan forgiveness options to help you understand what programs are available to you. Additionally, we will explain how lawyers can simplify the process of navigating this complex field.

Iowa Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

In Iowa, there are six student loan forgiveness programs tailored to specific professions and often require a commitment to work in certain areas or fields.

Rural Iowa Primary Care Loan Repayment Program

The Rural Iowa Primary Care Loan Repayment Program is designed for doctors in Iowa who are willing to serve in eligible rural communities. This program, aimed at addressing health shortage areas, can offer applicants up to $200,000 with a service commitment of five years.

Rural Iowa Primary Care Loan Repayment Program

  • Eligibility requirements: Must be a full-time student pursuing an MD degree, be a student of either Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine or University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, get recommended by a contact from the school, take part in a qualifying residency and become licensed, and commit to five consecutive years of service.
  • Service commitment: Five years
  • Forgiveness amount: Up to $200,000, or $40,000 each year

To learn more, visit: Rural Iowa Primary Loan Repayment Program

Mental Health Professional Loan Repayment Program

The Mental Health Professional Loan Repayment Program is available for mental health professionals working in a non-prescribing capacity in a designated shortage area. Qualified applicants could receive up to $40,000 in loan repayment assistance over a period of five years of full-time service.

Mental Health Professional Loan Repayment Program

  • Eligibility requirements: Must attend and graduate from an eligible Iowa university with either a master’s degree in counseling, social work, or marriage family therapy or a doctorate in psychology, complete two years of clinical practice, and have a valid license as a non-prescribing practitioner from Iowa Department of Public Health.
  • Service commitment: Five years
  • Forgiveness amount: Up to $40,000, or $8,000 each year

To learn more, visit: Mental Health Professional Repayment Program 

Teach Iowa Scholar Program

The Teach Iowa Scholar Program is designed for teachers looking for student loan forgiveness in Iowa. The program aims to attract teachers to shortage areas and, in exchange, teachers could receive up to $4,000 each year for up to five years.

Teach Iowa Scholar Program

  • Eligibility requirements: Be a recent graduate and complete all teacher prep coursework and degrees, be in the top 25% academically in your class, obtain a qualifying full-time job at a school in a designated shortage area, have an Iowa teaching license, and submit an application by November 18, 2022.
  • Service commitment: Up to five years
  • Forgiveness amount: $4,000 per year for up to five years ($20,000 total)

To learn more, visit: Teach Iowa Scholars

Health Professional Recruitment Program

The Health Professional Recruitment Program caters to various types of health professionals. The total award can be up to $50,000 for four years of service. Applicants must qualify as a nurse practitioner, registered nurse, physician, physician assistant, occupational therapist, physical therapist or athletic trainer.

Health Professional Recruitment Program

  • Eligibility requirements: Complete your education and graduate from an eligible university in Iowa, work in one of the qualified professions listed above, must work in a high-need community that can match funds, and serve the high-need community for four years.
  • Service commitment: Four years
  • Forgiveness amount: Up to $50,000, or $12,500 per year for up to four years

To learn more, visit: Health Professional Recruitment Program

Rural Iowa Veterinarian Loan Repayment Program

The Rural Iowa Veterinarian Loan Repayment Program offers up to $60,000 in assistance, paid out at $15,000 per year, to veterinarians who will soon graduate or are recent graduates/completed their degree in the previous five years and are willing to serve rural communities.

Rural Iowa Veterinarian Loan Repayment Program

  • Eligibility requirements: Have a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the past five years or be in your final year of schooling, has or will obtain a valid license to practice veterinary medicine, obtains full-time work in an eligible community, serve for four years, and has not previously been awarded any help through the National Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program/National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
  • Service commitment: Four years
  • Forgiveness amount: $60,000 or $15,000 per year

To learn more, visit: Rural Iowa Veterinarian Loan Repayment Program

Health Care Award Program

The Health Care Award Program is designed to attract nurse educators to teach at eligible Iowa universities. Qualified applicants can receive $6,000 per year for up to five years of service for a total of $30,000.

Health Care Award Program

  • Eligibility requirements: Can be in final year of school or a licensed professional, must work as an advanced registered nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant who commits to teaching at a qualified university, must serve for five years an be in an eligible area, and submit application by March 31.
  • Service commitment: Five years
  • Forgiveness amount: $6,000 per year for five years of service (for a total of $30,000)

To learn more, visit: Health Care Award Program

These state-specific programs offer substantial opportunities for Iowa borrowers to alleviate their student loan burden. However, it’s crucial to understand the specific requirements and commitments involved in each program to determine if they align with your career goals and financial needs.

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Iowa Residents

Alright, let’s dive into some big-time solutions. When it comes to federal student loan forgiveness, there are federal programs available for all Iowa residents

These programs are available to anyone with a federal student loan. 

So, let’s explore them.

1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program: If you work in a qualifying public service job, such as government or non-profit organizations, you may be eligible for PSLF. After making 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan, the remaining loan balance may be forgiven. For instance, you are working for a non-profit healthcare organization, and making consistent, on-time payments under an IDR plan could qualify for PSLF after 10 years of service.

2. Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness: Under these plans, monthly loan payments are based on the borrower’s income and family size, and after 20-25 years of qualifying payments, the remaining loan balance may be forgiven. For example, if a are struggling to find a well-paying job in your field and meet the eligibility requirements, You could enroll in an IDR plan and potentially have your remaining loan balance forgiven after the repayment period.

3. Borrower Defense to Repayment: This program offers Student loan forgiveness to students who have been defrauded by their college or university. Graduates who can prove that their institution misled them about job placement rates, accreditation, or other important aspects of their education may be eligible for full or partial forgiveness of their federal student loans. For example, if a student was promised a certain job placement rate upon graduation, but the actual rate was significantly lower, they might qualify for this program. 

4. TPD Discharge (Total & Permanent Disability Discharge)If you are unable to work due to a total and permanent disability, you may be eligible for a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge. This program provides forgiveness for federal student loans if the borrower can provide documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, or a physician certifying their disability. For example, if you become permanently disabled and can no longer maintain employment in your field, you could qualify for TPD discharge.

Finding the Best Student Loan Lawyers in Iowa

When it comes to dealing with student loan debt, it can feel like navigating a labyrinth. That’s where a student loan lawyer comes in handy, offering the guidance you need to manage your debt effectively. But how do you find the right one?

Here’s what you should consider:

1. Experience: Look for a student loan lawyer with proven experience in dealing with student loans. They should have a clear understanding of the various forgiveness programs and be updated on the current laws and regulations.

2. Track Record: Check their track record. Have they successfully helped other clients reduce or manage their student loan debt? Positive testimonials and reviews can often provide this information.

3. Cost: Legal advice can be expensive, but it’s essential to remember that the lowest price doesn’t always mean the best service. Instead, focus on the value the lawyer provides. Are they transparent about their fees? Do they provide a clear explanation of what services you’ll receive?

4. Free Consultation: Many student loan lawyers that are able to help Iowa residents offer a free initial consultation. This can be a great opportunity to discuss your situation, understand your options, and decide if their services match your needs.

5. Accessibility and Communication: Your student loan lawyer should be easily reachable and willing to answer any questions you have. They should also keep you updated on any developments in your case.

Student loan lawyers can play a vital role in helping you navigate the complexities of student loan forgiveness. But remember, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every case is unique, and your student loan lawyer should tailor their approach to fit your specific circumstances.

Taking the time to find the best student loan lawyer can not only save you money in the long run but also provide peace of mind, knowing that you’re taking the right steps to manage and reduce your student loan debt.

Don’t stress. Debt Management Success helps you connect with licensed student loan advisors and lawyers who truly understand the ins and outs of student loans.

Student Loan Help in Iowa: Location is No Barrier

But you might be wondering, “What can a student loan lawyer do for me?” 

In essence, these are attorneys specializing in student loans and related issues. They provide comprehensive services, from guiding you through loan forgiveness programs to representing you in student loan lawsuits. 

Let’s break it down for you:

1. Find Your Student Loans: Lost track of your student loans? Don’t worry; it happens. A student loan lawyer can help you locate all your loans, even those that might have slipped your attention. They can gather all the necessary information about your loans, such as the amounts, interest rates, and terms, ensuring you have a clear understanding of your debt.

2. Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness: Think of your student loan lawyer as your personal tour guide on the path to student loan forgiveness. They’ll help you understand which forgiveness programs you qualify for, guide you through the application process, and provide advice tailored to your specific circumstances. 

3. Get Your Student Loans out of Default and Stop Wage Garnishment: If your loans have slipped into default, a student loan lawyer can help you explore your options to get back on track. They can also help stop wage garnishment, which can be a major relief.

4. Negotiate a Settlement: for private student loans, Sometimes, your best bet might be to negotiate a settlement with your lender. A student loan lawyer can be an invaluable ally in these negotiations, advocating for your interests and working to secure a deal that’s favorable to you.

5. Lower Monthly Payments: If you’re struggling with high monthly payments, a student loan lawyer can help you explore options to reduce them. This can include changing your repayment plan or applying for an income-driven repayment plan.

6. File for Bankruptcy: While discharging student loans through bankruptcy can be difficult, it’s not impossible. A student loan lawyer can guide you through this complex process, providing insights into the requirements and helping determine if this is a viable option for your situation.

7. Fight a Student Loan Lawsuit: If you find yourself on the receiving end of a student loan lawsuit, having a student loan lawyer by your side can be crucial. They can represent you in court, providing the legal expertise and support you need.

Need to Connect with a Student Loan Lawyer Whos Able to Help in Iowa?

Let’s be honest: dealing with student loan debt can feel like you’re climbing a mountain without a map. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to find the right path. 

Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed by your student loan debt, are struggling with high monthly payments, or are in default, Debt Management Success can connect you with a licensed professional who understands what you’re going through and can provide the support you need.

Connect with a professional today, and take your first step towards a brighter financial future. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Help is just a phone call away.


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