8 Ways to Find Student Loan Forgiveness in Texas

 March 4, 2020
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If you’re a Texas resident with a heavy student loan burden, you may be feeling the financial stress as you begin or continue in your chosen career. Luckily, along with federal program options, you have access to student loan forgiveness programs specifically for Texas dwellers. Below you’ll find several options for student loan forgiveness in Texas.

Student loan forgiveness: Texas

Many of the student loan forgiveness and repayment programs in Texas are aimed at assisting health care professionals and educators, but there are also opportunities for other professions.

Keep in mind that programs available now may not be available in the future, because funding can always be suspended. That said, if funding does go away, it may be reinstated at a later date. You can find out more about several Texas forgiveness programs by visiting the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board website.

1. Physician Education Loan Repayment Program
2. Math and Science Scholars Loan Repayment Program
3. Texas Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program (lawyers)
4. Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals
5. Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Assistance Program
6. Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Assistance
7. Peace Officer Loan Repayment Assistance Program
8. Loan repayment assistance through your school

1. Physician Education Loan Repayment Program

You can get up to $180,000 over a four-year period to help you pay off debt incurred while becoming a doctor — if you agree to practice for four years in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or meet a minimum requirement for providing services to those enrolled in the Texas Women’s Health Program or Medicaid. Applications are accepted quarterly, and service periods are renewed each year. To receive the full amount, you need to become certified in one of the following specialties, either before or during your service period:

  • Family medicine
  • Internal medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Psychiatry
  • Geriatrics

Requirements:

  • You must hold a physician license from the Texas Medical Board.
  • You must agree to complete four consecutive service periods in an HPSA or a qualifying correctional facility.
  • You must be eligible to take the exam for board certification in the first, second or third service periods if you are not yet board certified.
  • You must not be currently fulfilling service periods for other scholarships or loan repayment programs.

Program status: Active as of publication. Visit their website for additional information on the program.

2. Math and Science Scholars Loan Repayment Program

This program is available for math and science teachers who are willing to commit four years to teaching in Texas public schools. The maximum award offered is $5,000.

Requirements:

  • You must have completed a program (undergraduate or graduate) in math or science.
  • You must have finished a degree with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • You must be certified to teach science or math in a public school in Texas.
  • You must have a contract to teach full-time in a classroom at a Title I school.
  • You cannot be receiving any other teacher loan forgiveness.

Program status: Active as of publication. Visit the website for additional information.

3. Texas Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program (lawyers)

This Texas student loan repayment program is offered through the Texas Access to Justice Foundation and is geared toward lawyers. It’s funded by the State Bar of Texas. Lawyers can apply on a quarterly basis if they work helping low-income citizens. Awards of up to $6,000 are given annually, and then forgiven at the end of a 12-month period, as long as the recipient maintains eligibility. Money is awarded on an as-needed basis, based on your situation and whether you’re participating in other aid programs.

Requirements:

  • You must work in a Texas legal aid program.
  • You must be a lawyer recognized by the State Bar of Texas.
  • You must have been licensed to practice law for fewer than 10 years.
  • You must earn $80,000 or less annually.

Program status: Active as of publication. Read the current list of eligible employers for this program.

4. Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals

Aggregate awards ranging from $10,000 to $160,000 are available over the course of five years, depending on your mental health job. Money is given based on how many years you remain in the program. You get 10% of the total in the first year and receive a greater percentage each successive year until you reach the maximum.

Here are the types of mental health professionals eligible and the amounts offered for each:

  • Psychiatrists: up to $160,000
  • Psychologists: up to $80,000
  • Licensed clinical social workers (doctoral degree): up to $80,000
  • Licensed professional counselors (doctoral degree): up to $80,000
  • Advanced practice nurses (board-certified in mental health or psychiatric nursing): Up to $60,000
  • Licensed professional counselors, clinical social workers and licensed marriage and family therapists: Up to $40,000
  • $10,000 for licensed chemical dependency counselors with associates degrees

Requirements:

  • You must work in a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area (MHPSA) or a correctional facility associated with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
  • You must serve people enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program and/or Medicaid.
  • You must agree to provide five consecutive years of service.
  • Psychiatrists must be eligible to take a board certification exam.

Program status: At publication time, the program was expected to post application information in March 2020. Check in on their website.

5. Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Assistance Program

If you have a nursing degree and teach as a faculty member in an approved Texas nursing program, you could receive as much as $7,000 for up to five years. You will need to provide your lender information, though, because this program pays down your loans directly.

Requirements:

  • You must have completed a master’s or doctoral nursing degree.
  • You must be licensed by the Texas Board of Nursing.
  • You must be employed as a full-time faculty member in an eligible nursing program for at least one year.
  • You must not be in default with your student loans.

Program status: Active as of publication. Check the website for more information.

6. Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Assistance

If you’re willing to teach a specialty identified as a shortage area, you might be able to access an award amount of up to $2,500. Designated shortage areas may change annually and include English as a second language, special education, mathematics and computer science. Per the Texas Education Agency, you will need to contact your loan servicer regarding the amount of forgiveness for which you are eligible.

Requirements:

  • You must teach at a public school in Texas (preschool, primary or secondary).
  • You must have certification in a field identified as having a shortage.
  • You must be willing to teach full-time at a school that has been identified as experiencing a teacher shortage.

Program status: Active as of publication. Check the website for more information.

7. Peace Officer Loan Repayment Assistance Program

If you are a full-time peace officer in Texas as of or after Sept. 1, 2019, you may be eligible for up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness over a five-year period.

Requirements:

  • You must be sure you meet the required definition of peace offer, as outlined here.
  • You must have earned at least 60 semester credit hours at an eligible Texas institution before becoming a peace offer.
  • You must be currently employed.

Program status: Active as of now. Check the website for further information.

8. Loan repayment assistance through your school

Some Texas colleges and universities offer their own loan forgiveness programs. Call your alma mater to find out if these programs are available. For example, the University of Texas at Austin offers a loan assistance program for its law school graduates.

Don’t forget about federal loan forgiveness programs

No matter where you live — including Texas — you can access federal loan forgiveness programs. The federal government offers programs aimed to help teachers, health care professionals, veterans and public servants pay off their student loans.

Double-check the provisions, though. Depending on your situation and the loan forgiveness program, you might not be able to get help from both state and federal funding sources at the same time. Carefully compare programs to figure out which course of action is likely to benefit you the most.

You can search here for our list of student loan forgiveness programs. Here, you can calculate how much forgiveness you might expect from a public service loan forgiveness program.

Rebecca Stropoli contributed to this report.

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1.86% – 6.01%Undergrad
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1.99% – 8.38%8Undergrad
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Visit Citizens

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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, 2022.


2 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.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

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.
 


3 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

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.


4 Important Disclosures for Navient.

Navient Disclosures

You can choose between fixed and variable rates. Fixed interest rates are 2.99% – 8.24% APR (2.74% – 7.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Starting variable interest rates are 1.99% APR to 8.24% APR (1.74% – 7.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Variable rates are based on an index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) plus a margin. Variable rates are reset monthly based on the fluctuation of the index. We do not currently offer variable rate loans in AK, CO, CT, HI, IL, KY, MA, MN, MS, NH, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA.


5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

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.


6 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

Student Loan Refinance Interest Rate Disclosure Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 3.24% 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. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. Let us know if you have any questions and feel free to reach out directly to our team.


7 Important Disclosures for Purefy.

Purefy Disclosures

Purefy Student Loan Refinancing Rate and Terms Disclosure: Annual Percentage Rates (APR) ranges and examples are based on information provided to Purefy by lenders participating in Purefy’s rate comparison platform. For student loan refinancing, the participating lenders offer fixed rates ranging from 2.73% – 7.99% APR, and variable rates ranging from 1.74% – 7.99% APR. The maximum variable rate is 25.00%. Your interest rate will be based on the lender’s requirements. In most cases, lenders determine the interest rates based on your credit score, degree type and other credit and financial criteria. Only borrowers with excellent credit and meeting other lender criteria will qualify for the lowest rate available. Rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Terms and conditions apply.  


8 Important Disclosures for Citizens.

CitizensBank Disclosures

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.
 
Citizens Student Loan Eligibility: : Applicants must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution.
 
Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DC, DE, FL, MA, MD, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
 
Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure:Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount. Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on  their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan  servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to  successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month  period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.