The terms forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge mean the same thing, but they’re used in different ways. If you’re no longer required to make payments on your loans due to your job, this is generally called forgiveness or cancellation. If you’re no longer required to make payments on your loans due to other circumstances, such as a total and permanent disability or the closure of the school where you received your loans, this is generally called discharge.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)-Federal Loan Servicing
If you get a job at a government or eligible not-for-profit organization and repay your loans based on your income, you may qualify for forgiveness of your Direct Loans after 120 qualifying payments and employment. See StudentAid.gov/publicservice for more information and for a form you can fill out when you start working to receive confirmation that your employment qualifies for the program.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. Under this program, if you teach full time for five consecutive, complete academic years at certain elementary and secondary schools or for certain educational service agencies that serve low-income families and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 in principal and interest on your Direct Loan and/or FFEL program loans. For complete eligibility requirements, see Sections 8-10.