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While working as a librarian can be a fulfilling career, it often comes with a side of student loan debt. Fortunately, there are a couple of paths to student loan forgiveness for librarians.
If you’re looking to close the book only your student debt, read on for your loan forgiveness options.
- Student loan forgiveness for librarians eligibility
- 2 ways to earn loan forgiveness for librarians
- Other ways to find help paying off your librarian degree
If your librarian degree put you in the red financially, you’re not alone. The average student with debt left graduate school owing $71,000 (or $82,800, when you include undergraduate loans), according to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics.
Combine that with the fact that a professional with a Master of Library Science degree pulls in an average annual salary of $55,000, according to PayScale, and it’s no wonder you might be looking for student loan forgiveness for librarians.
The bad news is that only your federal loans are eligible for forgiveness. You might try other options to deal with private loans, such as talking to your lender and learning about refinancing.
The better news is that there are two governmental programs to help get your federal loans forgiven. They work whether you’re a librarian or have one of the other great jobs offering loan forgiveness.
Here are the two programs and how you might qualify for them.
1. Perkins Loan cancellation and discharge
Thanks to the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, librarians were added to a list of eligible professionals for Federal Perkins Loan forgiveness.
Although the Perkins Loan program expired, anyone who took out a Perkins Loan before Sept. 30, 2017, would be eligible, and you could have as much as 100% of your debt canceled.
Here’s how the gradual payout would work:
|1||15%, plus interest|
|2||15%, plus interest|
|3||20%, plus interest|
|4||20%, plus interest|
|5||30%, plus interest|
Achieving total loan forgiveness — that is, erasing 100% of your remaining debt, including interest — would take five years through this federal program.
Eligibility: Being a librarian isn’t enough. To qualify, your librarian degree must have been earned at the master’s level. You also have to work for a Title I school or a public library serving Title I schools — Title I schools are institutions that tend to serve high numbers of low-income students.
Requirements: Having a year of professional experience under your belt is the first requirement. Your work as a librarian before August 2008 won’t be included for consideration. You must also make timely loan payments as long as you have a balance.
Application: You request loan forgiveness annually, using a form provided by your school (or your school’s servicer). On the form, you’ll be asked to state your job type and include a certification from your employer.
If you’re a newer graduate and short of the professional experience requirement, you could apply for a pre-cancellation deferment. This would halt your monthly payments until you can start claiming forgiveness.
2. Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Established in 2007, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program started accepting applications in 2017. This is because you must make timely payments on your Direct Loans for 120 months (10 years) to apply to have your remaining balance wiped away.
You must also have made those payments under a qualifying income-driven repayment plan, which includes the following:
- Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
- Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)
You wouldn’t benefit from PSLF using the standard repayment plan you were assigned after leaving school. That’s because the standard plan calls for your loans to be repaid in 10 years, which would leave a zero balance by the time you’d be eligible for forgiveness.
Income-driven repayment plans, on the other hand, allow you to make smaller payments over a longer period. They would cost you additional interest, unless you qualify for PSLF and avoid having to pay off the balance.
Although PSLF might not last forever, you remain eligible to participate even if you’re a current borrower. Here’s what else to know about the finer details of this type of student loan forgiveness for librarians.
Eligibility: Beyond being a librarian (or archivist), you must be working full time for a public school, a nonprofit private school or a public or nonprofit organization. You can verify your eligibility by filling out the PSLF employment certification form.
Requirements: Only direct loans are eligible for PSLF. You could opt to group your other federal loans into a direct consolidation loan. But be advised that doing so would reset the clock on your 120 monthly payments going forward.
All payments must be made during your tenure as a librarian. You must also maintain your employment while applying for and accepting loan forgiveness.
Application: In addition to filing an employment certification form to account for each of your 10 years of experience in the field, you must complete the PSLF application. As it’s being considered, your loans will enter forbearance. You’ll receive your application results in writing.
Aside from loan forgiveness for librarians, the federal government also discharges debt in extreme circumstances. Regardless of your profession, your debt could be wiped away for several these reasons, including:
- Your school closed before you could complete your degree.
- You enter bankruptcy, and the court rules you shouldn’t have to pay off your loans, which is rare.
- You suffer from a total and permanent disability.
You could also explore loan forgiveness for librarians offered by your state. Many programs catering to educators are specific to teachers, but there are exceptions. The Educators for Maine Program, for example, offers forgiveness to librarian-media specialists working in the state. This program includes a year of forgiveness for each year of service.
Research your state’s offerings via our list of over 120 loan repayment assistance programs. If your state’s program is unclear about its eligibility requirements for school employees, for example, don’t leave that stone unturned. Ask if you might be eligible to receive help paying off your librarian degree.
Be just as inquisitive about your federal loans. If you have Perkins Loans or Direct Loans and are looking into forgiveness, you could be in luck. But the government’s requirements for wiping away some or all of your debt can be stiff, and they can also take years to qualify for.
Still, if you start today, you’ll be that much closer to ending your debt and getting back to the books. For additional information, check out our complete list of student loan forgiveness programs.
Rebecca Safier contributed to this article.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.87% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 6.59%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 5.25%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.86% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.13% – 5.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of June 1, 2021.
2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Interest Rate Disclosure
Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.44% APR to 5.79% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.88% APR to 5.64% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 2.04% and 5.8% to the one month LIBOR. Earnest rate ranges are current as of 6/8/2021, and are subject to change based on market conditions.
Auto Pay Discount Disclosure
You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay.
Student Loan Refinancing Loan Cost Examples
These examples provide estimates based on payments beginning immediately upon loan disbursement. Variable APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 5.89% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,042.39. For a variable loan, after your starting rate is set, your rate will then vary with the market. Fixed APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 6.04% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,249.77. Your actual repayment terms may vary.Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest. com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
Earnest Loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC or One American Bank, Member FDIC. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS #1204917. 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105. California Financing Law License 6054788. Visit earnest.com/licenses for a full list of licensed states. For California residents (Student Loan Refinance Only): Loans will be arranged or made pursuant to a California Financing Law License.
One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC with support from Navient Solutions LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
© 2021 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.
3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
4 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates range from 2.49% APR to 6.94% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 6.59% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 11/15/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
7 Important Disclosures for Navient.
8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.13%-5.25% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.