Note that the federal government has paused student loan payments, and many student lenders and servicers are offering relief options during the coronavirus outbreak, so be sure to also check out our Student Loan Hero Coronavirus Information Center for additional news and details.
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You may live in the Sunshine State, but nothing can ruin a sunny day like a giant student loan bill. If you’re struggling to make progress on paying off your student debt, you might have wondered if you’re eligible for student loan forgiveness in Florida.
The following programs are specific to Florida and your profession:
- Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program (NSLFP)
- Florida Bar Foundation Loan Repayment Assistance Program
The NSLFP loan forgiveness program was established in 1989 to encourage nurses to seek employment in underserved areas. To be eligible, you must be a licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN) or advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP). You also must work at a “designated employment site” in the state of Florida.
These sites include:
- State-operated medical and health care facilities
- Public schools
- Federally sponsored community health centers
- Teaching hospitals
- Speciality hospitals for children
If you qualify, the program will pay up to $4,000 per year toward your loans for a maximum of four years. The payment is based on funds available and will be made directly to your lender at the end of each 12-month enrollment period.
The application timeframes are February 1 to March 1, May 1 to June 1, August 1 to September 1, and November 1 to Dec. 1.
For further information on this program, you can contact the Florida Department of Education by phone at 800-366-3475, or 850-410-5200 from the local Tallahassee metro area. You can also contact them by email at [email protected].
If you’re a lawyer seeking loan forgiveness, then you can consider the Florida Bar Foundation, which provides forgivable loans to legal aid attorneys.
Key things to know:
- You should be employed on a full-time basis or at least 50% FTE part- time basis by a civil legal aid organization currently receiving a grant from the Foundation;
- Applications and supporting materials must be submitted timely during the once annual LRAP application period.
- You must have gained admission to The Florida Bar by the end of the first year after having been selected as a participant, and you must remain a member in good standing after that
- You must be in full compliance with LRAP requirements if you’re a current LRAP participant.
If you work at least half-time as a legal aid staff attorney at one of its partner organizations, its LRAP will give you a $5,000 loan to help you repay your student debt. The loan is forgiven on an annual basis for qualified candidates.
The application process for each year begins in October of the previous year. So, for example, if you were to apply for 2021, you would need to begin the process in October of 2020.
You can apply for the program here.
Although they aren’t specific to the state of Florida, the following federal programs are available to its residents — and may be worth exploring:
- Teacher Loan Forgiveness in Florida
- National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC)
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
- Income-driven repayment plans
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is administered by the Department of Education. It requires you to teach full-time for five consecutive years at a low-income school or educational service agency.
Eligible teachers must be “highly qualified,” which means having at least a bachelor’s degree and full state certification.
If you teach secondary math or science or special education, you could receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness. Other teachers could receive up to $5,000. Both Direct Loans and Stafford Loans qualify.
To see if your school is eligible, search the Teacher Cancellation Low Income (TCLI) Directory.
The NHSC LRP is a great opportunity for health care workers to get their loans forgiven. Awards are for up to $50,000 in exchange for an initial two years served in full-time clinical practice in an HDSC-approved service site facing a significant care shortage.
In order to be eligible, you must:
- Be a provider, or be eligible to participate as a provider, in the Medicare, Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program
- Be trained and licensed to practice medical, dental or mental health care in an HDSC-eligible area
- Be an eligible health professional with qualified student loan debt that helped you earn your qualified degree
Qualified military reservists are also eligible.
Be aware that not everyone who is eligible will receive forgiveness. After you apply, you’ll be ranked based on how critical the health care need is at your chosen site as well as whether you come from a “disadvantaged background.”
To be notified when the next application cycle opens, sign up for NHSC’s email list.
The NHSC also offers loan repayment programs for substance abuse professionals, including those working specifically to combat the opioid crisis in rural communities. If you are in your final year of medical or dental school, you also may qualify for the NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program.
Perhaps the most well-known forgiveness program, PSLF offers loan forgiveness to people who work for government or nonprofit agencies for 10 years.
To be eligible for this program, you must:
- Have Federal Direct Loans (if you have different loans, you might want to consider a Direct Consolidation Loan)
- Be enrolled in an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan
- Work your employer’s definition of “full-time” (or at least 30 hours per week) at a qualifying government or nonprofit agency
- Make 120 monthly payments in full within 15 days of the due date
All Direct loans qualify for this program, including Direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans, Direct PLUS loans and Direct consolidation loans.
See how much you might be able to save through this program with our Public Service Loan Forgiveness calculator.
And note that the fate of PSLF is unclear under the Trump administration, as there have been proposals to take it off the table. So if you’ve been working toward it, apply for PSLF now, and keep your eyes out for updated news on the program.
IDR plans are the broadest federal loan forgiveness option. They’re available regardless of your chosen career, and most federal loans are eligible. These plans base your monthly payments on your income. Depending on which IDR plan you choose, your payments will be limited to between 10% and 20% of your discretionary income for a period of 20 to 25 years. After that period is over, the remainder of your loans will be forgiven.
Although they might sound like a no-brainer, there are downsides to income-driven repayment plans. Because they extend your repayment term, they accrue more interest. And when your loans are forgiven, you’ll have to pay income tax on the forgiven amount.
To see what your payments might be if you participate in an income-driven repayment program, check out our income-driven repayment calculator. Depending on your career choice and other factors, there are several other national forgiveness programs you might qualify for. For more information, take a look at our full list of student loan forgiveness programs.
Rebecca Stropoli contributed to this report
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2022!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.74% – 8.70%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 7.99%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 7.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 7.99%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.05% – 5.25%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.86% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|N/A7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 8.38%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 May 4, 2022.
2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Student Loan Refinance Interest Rate Disclosure Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.99% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.99% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Let us know if you have any questions and feel free to reach out directly to our team.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates range from 3.49% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 7.99% 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.
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 Navient.
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 5/17/2022 student loan refinancing rates range from 2.05% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.93% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
7 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Fixed Rate Loan Terms: 5 years/60 monthly payments, 8 years/96 monthly payments, 12 years/144 monthly payments or 15 years/180 monthly payments. Annual Percentage Rate is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed rates range from 3.29% to 5.43% APR. Rates are subject to change without notice. Fixed APR: Fixed rates will not change during the term. This rate is expressed as an APR. Since there are no fees associated with this loan offer, the APR is the same percentage as the actual interest rate of the loan. 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.
8 Important Disclosures for CitizensBank.
Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.99%-8.38% (1.99%-8.38% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 2.99%-8.63% (2.99%-8.63% APR).
IS Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable Rates advertised are based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of December 1, 2021, the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.09%. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. Your final variable rate may be based upon the 30-day average SOFR index, as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The maximum variable rate is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%.
ERL Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates are based on the 30-day average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) index, as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As of May 1, 2022, the 30-day average SOFR index is 0.29%. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the SOFR index, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable interest rate is the greater of 21.00% or the prime rate plus 9.00%.
Fixed Rate Disclosure: Fixed rate ranges are based on applicable terms, level of degree, and presence of a co-signer.
Lowest Rate Disclosure: Lowest rates are only available for the most creditworthy applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, immediate repayment, a graduate or medical degree (where applicable), and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer. Borrowers should carefully review federal benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are considering possible loan forgiveness options, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision on our website including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.