Official State of Iowa Website

Student Loan Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge

You may have heard discussion of student loan forgiveness, cancellation, or discharge, and have questions about what it is and how you can get it.

According to the Federal Student Aid website:Icon of a question mark

The terms forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge mean nearly 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.

Programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Teacher Loan Forgiveness, Closed School Discharge, Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge, and Total and Permanent Disability Discharge are among the ways you might receive loan forgiveness, cancellation, or discharge. For more information on forgiveness, cancellation, and discharge programs for federal loans, visit Federal Student Aid’s Student Loan Forgiveness page.

For Private Loans, contact your lender and ask about any deferment or payment reduction options. Review your loan documents to see if any of these topics are addressed. The National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project is also a great resource for information on both federal and private loans.