NJ helps pay off student debt — as long as you have the right job
For New Jersey residents struggling to pay off student loans, the government may be willing to help. You just have to be in the right line of work.
A number of state and federal programs are designed to shave off student-loan debt as an incentive to address professional shortages.
All programs have strict eligibility requirements, but qualifying can potentially save tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.
Here's a list of loan forgiveness/redemption programs in New Jersey:
Nursing Faculty Loan Redemption Program — The state says this program is in place to "address the current and projected critical shortage of nurse faculty" in New Jersey. The program's FAQ page says eligible borrowers could qualify for a student loan deduction of up to $50,000.
John R. Justice Federal Student Loan Redemption Program —The product of a federal grant, this program aims to retain qualified prosecutors and public defenders. Borrowers must apply for a grant award each year. The repayment award for fiscal year 2015 was $1,883.
Primary Care Physician & Dentist Loan Redemption Program — This program provides up to $120,000 in student loan redemption to folks who serve as a primary care provider in areas deemed "medically underserved" in New Jersey. Professions include physicians, dentists, physician assistants, certified nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives.
"There are limited funds, so there is an application process and an evaluation as to who might be eligible for these payments," said Teresa Gervasio, senior director of student loan programs for the state's Higher Education Student Assistance Authority. "In the history of my employment with the state, we've had a lot of programs that are well used by a number of citizens in the state of New Jersey."
There are also a number of federal programs for borrowers who'd like some help with repaying student loans. These, again, address certain professions such as teachers and specific public service jobs.
Click here for federal options.