The Federal Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers allows the U.S. Department of Education to repay a portion of qualifying borrowers’ Stafford loan obligations. The loan forgiveness applies to Unsubsidized and Subsidized Stafford Loans made to new borrowers after October 1, 1998 and to portions of Consolidation Loans derived from these loans.
To qualify, a borrower must work as a full-time teacher for five (5) consecutive years in an elementary or secondary school that has been designated as a "low-income" school. You can see what schools are designated as “low-income” by visiting the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory of public and private nonprofit elementary and secondary schools at Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory.
Borrowers who teach in low-income schools and were "new borrowers" after October 1, 1998, can receive up to $5,000 of forgiveness on their Stafford Loans. A “new borrower” is someone who received his/her first Stafford Loan on/after October 1, 1998, or who had no remaining balance on his/her older Stafford Loans when he/she took out a new Stafford Loan on/after October 1, 1998.
A higher amount – up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness – has recently been made available for certain mathematics, science and special education teachers. Again, borrowers must not have had an outstanding balance on a FFEL or Direct Loan program loan as of October 1, 1998, or on the date they obtained a new FFEL or Direct loan after October 1, 1998.
For more specific information and qualification for these programs, go to
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program - FFEL and Direct Loan Programs.
You may apply for cancellation AFTER completing the five-year teaching requirement.
To apply for federal teacher loan forgiveness, New Mexico Student Loans borrowers must submit an application directly to NMSL. Download the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application on our forms page.
If your balance on qualifying loans is within the forgiveness range, you should apply for forbearance to suspend loan payments until you qualify for the loan forgiveness. Download the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance Form on our forms page.
Unless you give NMSL other instructions, forgiveness will first be applied to your Unsubsidized Stafford Loan balance, then to any outstanding Subsidized Stafford Loan balances, and lastly to any eligible outstanding Consolidation loan balances. Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness will apply only to outstanding portions of consolidation loans that repaid qualifying Stafford Loans.
If you have further questions, please contact us.