There are several loan repayment assistance and cancellation programs available which can be used in conjunction with, or in lieu of, LIPP. The combination of LIPP assistance and the assistance from the other program’s funding cannot exceed the total amount of a graduate’s required loan payments, but in the case of an external LRAP the additional funds can be used to cover a participant’s LIPP contribution. We encourage all graduates to explore additional sources of assistance and included below are a few programs of which we are aware.
Harvard Specific Sources of Funding:
External Sources of Funding:
US Office of Personnel Management – specific to employees of the federal government
State Based LRAPs – list of state based programs maintained by Equal Justice Works
John R. Justice (JRJ) Grant Student Loan Repayment Program – available to state public defenders and state prosecutors
Legal Services Corporation Loan Repayment Assistance – available to attorneys employed by LSC grantee organizations
Perkins Loan Cancellation:
Graduates pursuing certain types of public service employment may be eligible for cancellation of their Perkins Loans. Details about eligibility may be found on the Student Loan Office’s web page.
Federal Loan Forgiveness:
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) – Federal program available for those in a qualifying full-time position who are making monthly loan payments in a qualifying repayment plan.
If you are considering PSLF we encourage you to review the points below, but you should also call FedLoan directly with any specific questions you may have as they are the administrators of this program.
- The forgiveness provided by this program is an all or nothing benefit which means you must meet the 10 year employment/120 qualifying payment requirement in order to be eligible for forgiveness. There is no partial forgiveness.
- Only Federal Direct loans are eligible for forgiveness, so you may have some loans that do not qualify for the program.
- The employment guidelines for LIPP are much broader than PSLF. Any employment change may render you ineligible for PSLF if the new position does not meet the requirements.
- PSLF requires your qualifying loans to be on an income-based repayment plan, which over 10 years does not make progress paying down the principal of the loans. Therefore if you were to become ineligible for PSLF the balance on your loans may be greater than when you entered into the program. LIPP bases the assistance provided on a 10 year repayment which means you make progress towards paying down the principal over the 10 years; if you were to leave, or become ineligible for, LIPP before the 10 years was over your total debt would be less than when you entered repayment.
- PSLF may be a good option for you if you have high assets and/or significant non taxable income (i.e. military or clergy allowances) as these things may cause you to be ineligible for LIPP or reduce the amount of assistance you would receive from LIPP.