12 Ways to Find Student Loan Forgiveness in Texas

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Do you have a Texas-sized student loan burden? Although Texas is one of the more affordable places to pay off student debt, according to Student Loan Hero’s Debt Affordability Index, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Luckily, you have access to student loan forgiveness in Texas. If you want to get out from under your crushing student loan debt, here’s where to start.

Student loan forgiveness: Texas

Texas offers a number of student loan forgiveness and repayment programs. Many of them are aimed at helping healthcare professionals and educators, but there are also some opportunities for other professions.

Also, realize that some programs have been suspended, but funding might be reinstated at a later date. You can find out more about the various programs by visiting the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) website.

1. Physician Education Loan Repayment Program

You can get up to $160,000 over a four-year period to help you pay off debt incurred while becoming a doctor — if you agree to practice 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:

  • Agree to complete four consecutive service periods in an HPSA or qualifying correctional facility
  • Provide care to Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program recipients
  • Not be currently fulfilling service periods for other scholarships or loan repayment programs

Program status: Active. The next quarterly application deadline is February 28, 2018.

2. Math and Science Scholars Loan Repayment Program

Awards vary according to a point system based on the number of math and science courses you have completed, along with which Texas school you are employed at. The program has $2,757,000 available to provide for loan repayment, which is given to eligible teachers based on their applications.

Requirements:

  • Hold U.S. citizenship
  • Have completed a program (undergraduate or graduate) in math or science
  • Have finished a degree with a 3.5 cumulative GPA
  • Certified to teach science or math in a public school in Texas
  • Have a contract to teach full-time in a classroom at a Title I school
  • Cannot be receiving any other teacher loan forgiveness

Program status: Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2017-18 academic year. Check for applications to open for the 2018-19 academic year in early to mid-2018.

3. Texas Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program (lawyers)

Unlike the other programs, which are all administered through the THECB, this Texas student loan forgiveness program is offered through the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. It’s funded by the State Bar of Texas. Attorneys can apply on a quarterly basis if they work helping low-income citizens. Money is awarded on an as-needed basis, based on your situation and whether you’re participating in other aid programs.

Requirements:

  • Work in a Texas legal aid program
  • Be a lawyer recognized by the State Bar of Texas
  • Earn a relatively low income (the foundation says the average salary of recipients is less than $50,000 a year)

Program status: Active. The deadline for 2018 applications hasn’t been posted yet.

4. St. David’s Foundation Public Health Corps Loan Repayment Program

Physicians and dentists can obtain up to $30,000 a year for four years, and physician assistants and nurse practitioners can secure up to $15,000 annually from this student loan forgiveness program in Texas. The St. David’s Foundation provides money to the THECB to disburse to healthcare providers that meet their stipulations.

Requirements:

  • Have U.S. citizenship, be a permanent legal resident, or have some other authorization to work in the U.S.
  • Provide four years of service at a participating site
  • Retain the proper license or certification from a recognized governing body

Program status: On hold. The state organization will no longer administer the program. Grants have been paid for 2017, but applications are expected through another agency in 2018.

5. Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals

Aggregate awards ranging from $40,000 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 can get 10 percent of the total in the first year, receiving 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 and clinical social workers (without doctoral degree): Up to $40,000

Requirements:

  • Work in a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area
  • Have no more than 25 percent of total employment hours conducted through telemedicine
  • Serve those enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program and/or Medicaid
  • Agree to provide five consecutive years of service

Program status: Applications are closed for fiscal year 2017, but could reopen for fiscal year 2018, depending on available funding.

6. 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:

  • Completed master’s or doctoral nursing degree
  • Licensed by the Texas Board of Nursing
  • Employed as a full-time faculty in an eligible nursing program for at least one year
  • Must not be in default with your student loans

Program status: Unknown. A status update for the 2017-18 academic year hasn’t yet been posted.

7. 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 up to $5,000 a year. Recipients are limited to $20,000 and can’t tap into these funds for more than five years. You can find a list of shortage areas at the Texas Education Agency website.

Requirements:

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

Program status: On hold for new applications until September 2019. For those who are already in the program, it’s possible to file for continuing assistance.

8. Loan Repayment Program for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists

If you work for a school district, you could be eligible for up to $6,000 a year, while if you’re part of the doctoral faculty at a college or university communicative disorders program, you can qualify for up to $9,000. Both awards run up to five years.

Requirements:

  • Graduated from a communicative disorders program
  • Employed as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist in a public school district in Texas or at an institution of higher learning as doctoral faculty
  • Hold the proper licenses and/or certificates from appropriate governing bodies

Program status: Currently on hold due to lack of state funds, but it may reopen if other sources of funding are found. (The Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association subsidized the award in 2104-15, for example.)

9. Border County Doctoral Faculty Education Loan Repayment Program

You can receive up to $5,000 a year for up to 10 years with this program if you have a doctoral degree and you agree to teach full-time at a college or university in a Texas county that borders Mexico.

Requirements:

  • Received your doctoral degree at an accredited institution on or after September 1, 1994
  • Employed full-time as a doctoral faculty member with instructional duties
  • Worked full-time in this capacity for one full academic year

Program status: Currently on hold and not accepting applications until September 2019 at the earliest.

10. Dental Education Loan Repayment

If you are a dentist and you agree to practice in a Dental Care Health Professional Shortage Area (DHPSA), you can receive up to $10,000 a year to help with your student loans. You can find a list of federally designated DHPSAs in Texas by using the Health Resources & Services Administration website.

Requirements:

  • Practice pediatric or general dentistry
  • Serve patients regardless of ability to pay
  • Accept Medicaid assignment as full payment
  • Maintain a license from the Board of Dental Examiners in Texas
  • Have no disciplinary actions from the Board

Program status: Currently on hold and not accepting applications until September 2019 at the earliest.

11. 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.

12. Don’t forget to check for federal loan forgiveness

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

Double-check 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.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

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1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR 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. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, 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 August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. 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. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. 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 with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, 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 and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. 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 at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, 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.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. 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, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
2.57% – 5.87%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.