Buried in Student Loan Debt? These NJ Programs Can Help
If you're in the right field, the government may be willing to help you with some, or all, of the loans you're still paying off from college.
A number of programs, some of which are New Jersey-specific, are designed to shave off some of your debt as an incentive to address professional shortages.
All programs have strict eligibility requirements, but qualifying can potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.
New Jersey loan forgiveness/redemption programs:
Nursing Faculty Loan Redemption Program - According to the state, the program is in place to "address the current and projected critical shortage of nurse faculty" in New Jersey. The program's FAQ page says eligible borrowers could qualify for a student loan deduction of up to $50,000.
John R. Justice Federal Student Loan Redemption Program - The product of a federal grant, this program aims to retain qualified prosecutors and public defenders. Borrowers must apply for a grant award each year. The repayment award for FY2015 was $1,882.88.
Primary Care Physician & Dentist Loan Redemption Program - This program can provide up to $120,000 in student loan redemption to folks who serve as a primary care provider in areas deemed "medically underserved" in New Jersey. Professions include physicians, dentists, physician assistants, certified nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives.
"There are limited funds, so there is an application process and an evaluation as to who might be eligible for these payments," said Teresa Gervasio, senior director of student loan programs for the state's Higher Education Student Assistance Authority. "In the history of my employment with the state, we've had a lot of programs that are well used by a number of citizens in the state of New Jersey."
There are also a number of federal programs for borrowers who'd like some help with repaying student loans. These, again, address certain professions such as teachers and specific public service jobs.
Click here for federal options.