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Missions 101

Serving in a Church or Non-Profit? The US Government Will Forgive Your Student Loans

Jan. 28, 2014By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

Are you working for a church or non-profit and have amassed enough student debt to wonder if there is a way out? I often hear many students and well-trained lay people lament that they would go into _______ vocational ministry position if they didn’t have student loan debt.

Did you know the US government will forgive your debt under certain circumstances? Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, the US government will forgive your student loan debt after ten years of service in a non-profit.

Here are the steps you can take:

  1. You need to consolidate your student loans in the Direct Loan Program. Only loans from the Federal Family Education Loan Program and Federal Perkins Loans qualify.
  2. Once they are consolidated apply for Income-Base Repayment Plan. This will lower your monthly payment substantially, assuming you are not making a lot of money in a vocational ministry position. There are other plans you can apply for, but this one is probably best.
  3. You will need to fill out an Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Foregiveness and have your employer sign off on it.
  4. Make on time payments for 10 years. At the end of 10 years the balance of your loan will be forgiven. 

You can learn more here.


Darren Carlson is the Founder and President of Training Leaders International.  As President, Darren oversees the general direction of the ministry and serves as an advocate for pastors with little access to formal training and thoughtful cross-cultural theological engagement. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter

Tags:  economics, ministry
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