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Federal and State Loan Forgiveness Programs for Nurses

Below is a list of federal and state loan forgiveness programs available to nurses. Note that each program has its own eligibility requirements. A comparison chart (PDF) is available.

Note: The information outlined on this page is not intended as a substitute for information provided by the actual providers of the following programs, nor is it an exhaustive list of all available loan forgiveness programs.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Available for borrowers who hold full time public service jobs in areas that include health and education.
  • Requires 120 qualifying monthly payments be made to the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program before loan forgiveness consideration.
  • More detailed information is available at www.studentaid.ed.gov/publicservice.

NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program

The program was formerly the Federal Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applications should be submitted after the student has graduated.
  • This highly competitive program repays 60% of the qualifying loan balance for registered nurses, in exchange for two years of service at a critical-shortage facility. An optional third year of service can result in the repayment of an additional 25% of the original total qualifying loan balance.
  • The online application period typically ranges from January to March; applicants can sign up for email notification when the application is made available.
  • More detailed information is available from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Federal Perkins Loan Discharge/Cancellation for Full-time Nurses

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applications should be submitted after the student has graduated. Applications are provided by the college or university that issued the Perkins Loan(s).
  • Benefits are earned incrementally, with up to 100% cancellation after five years of qualified employment as a nurse.
  • Payments are deferred during years of employment; paperwork is coordinated through the college or university that issued the Perkins Loan(s).
  • Get more detailed information on the program.

Iowa Registered Nurse and Nurse Educator Loan Forgiveness Program

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applications should be submitted after the student has graduated.
  • Applicants must be employed as a nurse educator or registered nurse in Iowa no earlier than July 1, 2007.
  • Nurse educators are given priority in determining awards.
  • As much as $6,658 in eligible Federal Stafford or Federal Consolidation Loans can be forgiven at the completion of one year of eligible nursing employment (2012 graduates).
  • More detailed information is available from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission.

Note: The information outlined on this page is not intended as a substitute for information provided by the actual providers of the following programs, nor is it an exhaustive list of all available loan forgiveness programs.

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