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I learned the hard way how to save money on college and now I am going to share what I have learned. The US government has a program called Public Service Loan Forgiveness and it can save you a bunch of money if you work for a federal, state, or local government organization after you finish college. Don’t want to work for the government? Well guess what, there are lots of other organizations that qualify under this PSLF program. For example, you could work for a school or university. I will link below to the official page for the PSLF program, so you have all the facts, but here are the basics.
Breaking it all down
The basics are that if you work for almost any type of government organization for 10 years your student federal direct loans will be forgiven. This is where I made mistakes that I don’t want you to make because I didn’t understand the type of loans that can be forgiven. You MUST have federal direct loans. Do not take out private loans to pay for college because these will stay with you forever! You want direct loans only. Also, if you consolidate your loans the clock starts over on your ten years of work. Do not consolidate your loans.
How to do this?
Follow these simple steps to save on student loans:
- Only take out federal direct loans when paying for college.
- Do not take out private loans as these cannot be forgiven.
- Do not consolidate your loans because that resets the work clock.
- Turn in an Employment Certification Form each year you work for the government organization.
- After 120 months (10 years) of certified employment your loans are forgiven.
Do not take out private loans to pay for college because this will stay with you forever!
Many people make the mistake of taking out the wrong kind of loans in college. As long as you stick with federal direct loans and don’t consolidate them you will be able to reap the benefits of federal programs such as PSLF. Of course, you can accept grants and free hand outs in college as well. Scholarships and things like that are just fine and will not interfere with direct loans. Your goal should be to go to college on the cheap and not spend more than you have to.
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Employment Certification Form