Federal Loan Forgiveness and Discharge Programs

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

If you get a job at a government or not-for-profit organization and repay your loans based on your income, you may qualify for forgiveness of your Direct Loans after 10 years of 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 (TLF)

If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your Direct Loan or FFEL program loans. See StudentAid.gov/teach-forgive for more information and a form you can fill out when you have completed your teaching service.

Learn more about the eligibility requirements and full details of the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program at the Office of Federal Student Aid website.

Closed School Discharge

In certain instances, the closure of your school may result in a discharge, or release of your obligation to repay your student loan. Learn more about the criteria for this discharge and how to apply.

Total and Permanent Disability Loan Discharge (TPD)

If you are unable to work because of a total and permanent disability, or are a veteran who is unable to work due to a service-related disability, you may qualify to have your federal student loans discharged. To learn more about TPD Discharge, eligibility requirements, how to apply or check the status of your application, please contact the Nelnet Total and Permanent Disability Servicer. For more information visit www.disabilitydischarge.com.


In most cases, federal loans are not dischargeable due to bankruptcy. In rare cases, cancellation is possible only if the bankruptcy court rules that repayment poses an undue hardship to the borrower. For more information on bankruptcy and federal student loans, visit the Office of Federal Student Aid.

Death discharge

If you, the federal student loan borrower, dies or you have a Parent PLUS loan and the student on whose behalf you obtained the loan dies, the federal student loan will be discharged after the required proof of death is received and processed by your servicer. For more information, contact your loan servicer.