Loan Forgiveness for Social Workers
NASW is promoting loan forgiveness for social workers as part of its on-going work to improve working conditions, salaries, and other benefits for members of the profession and to ensure that consumers have access to qualified professionals. NASW will continue its support for proposals to provide loan forgiveness for social workers in child welfare and schools, while also working to secure loan forgiveness and other educational supports for social workers in other practice areas.
Two recently passed bills that offer loan forgiveness for social workers are the Higher Education Act and the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007. You can find out if you are eligible for these programs by contacting the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243. It is important to note that NASW does not determine loan forgiveness eligibility, nor does NASW disperse loan forgiveness funds. However, NASW does, offer scholarships.
Another federal program that helps social workers is the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LPR). This program offers fully trained and licensed clinical social workers $50,000 to repay student loans in exchange for two years serving in a community-based site in a high-need Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) that has applied to, and been approved by, the NHSC as a service site. For more information about the loan repayment program, eligibility requirements, employment opportunities in HPSAs, and NHSC contact information, click here.
If you are having difficulty paying your loans, contact your lender immediately. You may qualify for deferment, forbearance or another form of payment relief. It is important to take action before you accrue late fees as this may impact your eligibility for payment relief or loan forgiveness programs.
For more information please go to http://www.socialworkers.org/loanforgiveness/default.asp