Last week, we blogged about states and loan companies making cuts to student loan forgiveness programs. The New York Times initially ran a piece on these budget cuts and has followed up this week with a chart of state loan forgiveness programs and their current financial status. If you're planning on using one of these programs to cancel some of your student debt after college, you can head over to their website to see if your program is among those facing potential budget cuts. If you don't see it listed, The New York Times is encouraging people to contact state and local loan forgiveness programs and report back with details.
While many state programs are facing cuts, federal loan forgiveness programs have expanded in recent years. New federal options include a public service loan forgiveness program and a repayment plan set to debut next month that will forgive students' remaining balances of federal student loans after 25 years of income-based payments. Congress has also approved more funding for Americorps, which can help volunteers pay for school. Cancellation programs for Perkins Loans may also become more popular if an expansion to the Perkins Loan program is approved in the 2010 federal budget.
Regardless of the state of your loan repayment and forgiveness options, keep in mind there is free money out there. Grants and scholarships are available for virtually every student based on any number of characteristics and criteria. For example, many groups offer nursing scholarships and education scholarships, among other major-specific awards. To find out more, do a free college scholarship search.
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