Loans with Service Components
There are several loan options available that provide debt forgiveness in exchange for various types of service commitments. If you are planning on staying in North Carolina, specializing in primary care, or going into public service, these may be great options for you.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure to always go through Connect Carolina to complete forms and applications pertaining to loans — this is very important, as it is how we keep your records (and your to-do list) up-to-date and accurate.
Forgivable Education Loans for Service (FELS)
Qualified students committed to working in North Carolina in fields that have a critical need for more employees, such as nursing, teaching, allied health fields, or medicine, may apply for a FELS loan. The program was established by the North Carolina General Assembly and is administered by the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority. The loan program provides financial assistance to help students with their higher education expenses. Prior to receiving funding, recipients must sign a promissory note agreeing to pay back the loan after graduation either by working a year in an approved position in North Carolina for each academic year of funding received or by repaying the loan in cash. The 2017-2018 application deadline is March 1.
National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program (LRP) offers fully trained primary care physicians up to $50,000 to repay student loans in exchange for two years serving in a community-based site in a high-need health professional shortage area that has applied to and been approved by the NHSC as a service site. The payment is free from Federal income tax and is made at the beginning of service so you can more quickly pay down your loans. Approved sites are located across the U.S., in both urban and rural areas. After completing your initial service commitment, you can apply to extend your service and receive additional loan repayment assistance. The amount you receive and length of your commitment depends on where you serve (service at sites in higher need areas yields greater loan repayments). Applications for 2017 are due April 6.
National Health Service Corps Zika Loan Repayment Program
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) also offers a Zika Loan Repayment Program. The Zika Loan Repayment Program offers health care providers up to $70,000 in exchange for a three-year commitment at NHSC-approved sites as they work to address the health effects and risks associated with Zika. The payment is free from Federal income tax and is made at the beginning of service so you can more quickly pay down your loans. Approved sites are located in Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories. Applications for 2017 are due April 6.
National Health Service Corps Student to Service Program
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP) provides up to $120,000 to medical (MD and DO) or dental (DDS or DMD) students in their final year of school in return for a commitment to provide primary health care full time for at least 3 years at an approved NHSC site in a Health Professional Shortage Area of greatest need. Applications for 2017 are now closed, and applications for 2018 will open in Fall 2017.
Indian Health Service
The IHS LRP offers health professionals the opportunity to pay off their qualified student loans while assisting the IHS in meeting the staffing needs of Indian health programs. The LRP awards loan repayment to health professionals practicing in specific health profession disciplines who are willing to commit to an initial two-year service obligation while working in health facilities serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
The program will pay participants up to $20,000/year in exchange for the two-year service obligation, plus 20 percent of Federal income tax on the award. Applications are accepted year-round beginning October 1 through the Friday of the second full week of August and evaluated monthly beginning in January. For further information or to request an application, call 301-443-3396 or visit the IHS LRP Web site.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
This government program provides forgiveness for the remaining balance (principal and interest) on eligible Direct Loans after the borrower makes 120 qualifying monthly payments while working in a qualifying public service position. Qualifying public service employment includes work in 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, government organizations, and/or other not-for-profit organizations that provide certain types of qualifying public service. This type of employment could include work at qualifying medical schools and teaching hospitals, employment with AmeriCorps or Peace Corps, military service, public health, public safety, and other similar types of employment.