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College Affordability and Debt Services

College Affordability and Debt Services

NEA's Degrees Not Debt Campaign

NEA's Degrees Not Debt Campaign

Brittany Jones testifying

"Student loan debt has been the driving force of my decisions for the last eight years of my life, and according to my current repayment plan, it is projected to be for the next 25 years of my life, well into the years when I should be planning a retirement. It should not be that way."

- Future educator Brittany Jones before the U.S. Senate Budget Committee

Managing Your Student Loans

For many educators, student debt drives much of their decision making—from when to get married or if they should buy a home, to even whether they remain in the profession. If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the same boat. However, did you know that as a public school educator you may qualify for partial or entire forgiveness of your federal student loans? There are several federal programs that can help you get your loans forgiven and also lower your monthly payments so that they’re easier to manage on an educator’s budget. Learn more about these options below.

A Tool to Help Manage Your Student Loans

NEA has heard from thousands of our members on how student loans impact their lives. It’s why NEA Member Benefits has partnered with Savi to create NEA’s Student Loan Forgiveness Navigator. It offers a free online tool to help determine your eligibility for federal programs that can manage student loan debt. Check it out on the NEA Member Benefits website



Find Out if You Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness

As an educator, you may qualify for a variety of federal student loan forgiveness programs. Whether it’s Teacher Loan Forgiveness, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, or Teacher Loan Cancellation, you’ll need to find out which program is right for you. That's why NEA Member Benefits has created a guide to help you in your decision making. Read the full guide.


Want to Learn More About Student Loan Forgiveness?

If you want to learn more about managing your student debt, sign up for notifications of NEA webinars on this topic. We’ll cover the basics of federal loan forgiveness and equip you with the information you need to decide which program is best for you. Register here.

College Affordability Solutions

There are solutions to this crisis of college affordability. Congress could make college more affordable by:

  • Increasing grant aid to minimize the need for loans. Helping students get their degrees faster by reinstating year-round Pell Grants
  • Decreasing the cost of student loans, allowing federal student loans to be refinanced when interest rates decline instead of balancing the budget on the backs of our students.
    • Streamlining federal loan repayment plans to create a single, income-based option with affordable monthly payments for struggling borrowers.
    • Restoring federally subsidized loans for graduate students.
  • Enhancing federal loan forgiveness programs for those who choose careers in public service—including teachers—and expand them to include ALL faculty at colleges and universities – contingent and tenured/tenure-track.
  • Increasing federal aid and providing incentives to increase state aid to institutions, including minority-serving institutions

As we work to revamp the current Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, we need to hear from educators like you. Fill out our survey and tell us about your experience with PSLF.



Allow student loans to be refinanced when interest rates drop

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Testimony of NEA board member Jim Grimes, House Education and the Workforce Committee Democrats, March 2, 2016

Download the PDF version of 5 Steps to Kick Student Debt.

Did you know…

...average student debt is $30,000?
…more than 33 million Americans qualify for Income Driven Repayment plans (IDR)?
…1/4th of the workforce qualifies for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)?
NEA can help?