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It’s graduation season, which means students are slowly preparing to embark in a new phase in their lives. It also means graduates must find a great job in order to pay back those pesky loans. According to the Wall Street Journal the graduating class of 2011 is the most indebted class ever, averaging about $22,000 in debt. This is a staggering 47% increase from 11 years ago—and with tuition hikes slowly occurring within colleges across the country, that number is predicted to increase.


by Allan Chatto

But while many students fear having to repay their loans, most are unaware that there are particular careers that offer special programs designed to pay off an employee’s college debt—either entirely or partially. So theoretically, you may be able to go to college entirely for free by simply following your true calling. To learn what career fields offer loan forgiveness programs, continue reading below.

Education

If you are a full-time elementary or secondary school teacher and are employed in a low-income school district for at least 5 years, you may qualify to get your Federal Perkins Loan 100% reimbursed. Teachers that are currently in high demand right now, such as special education teachers, math and science teachers, foreign language teachers and bilingual or ESL teachers also qualify for certain forgiveness programs and may be reimbursed as much as $17,500 of their Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Family Education Loan if they meet particular requirements and conditions. So ask your school district to see if you qualify for any forgiveness programs.

Health Care

Due to the high-demand for medical personnel, those who pursue careers as nurses and doctors and are employed full-time in a hospital or other medical facility that is short-staffed, he or she may qualify to for loan reimbursement. While typically heath care loan forgiveness programs vary depending on the state they reside in and the particular hospital or healthcare facility they are employed at, these healthcare professionals usually have to work for least two years in order to receive up to 60% of their loans reimbursed. Some employees may also receive an additional 25% loan reimbursement if they choose to work in the short-staffed environment for a total of 3 years.

Government and Public Service

If you choose to pursue a federal, state or local government job, work for a non-profit organization, or find a public service job, which can include anything from being a full-time librarian, social worker, firefighter, public safety worker, or a volunteer for the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps, under the 2007 College Cost Reduction and Access Act you may just qualify to get your federal direct loans reimbursed 100 percent. Granted you must be employed for 10 years and make 120 consecutive loan payments for most jobs, but this career field can help you get out of debt.

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones.

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