Federal Programs and Instructional Equity

Teacher Loan Repayment

Published: 3/12/2024 5:08 PM

​There are several opportunities for teachers to receive loan forgiveness or cancellation. Kentucky Department of Education’s role in teacher lo​​an repayment is to answer questions and provide information regarding the programs. For more information about any of the programs listed on this page, please consult MOHELA – the official servicer for Federal Student Loan Aid. You may also refer to Loan Repayment Frequently Asked Questions. The corresponding regulatory provisions for each program can be found on the right-hand side of the page, under Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

It is important to note that a student loan borrower's forgiveness program may not be binding in some circumstances and could be rescinded.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Teacher Loan Forgiveness was designed as an incentive to enter and continue in the teaching profession and provides loan reimbursement once a teacher has completed five consecutive, full-time years of service at a qualifying low-income elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency. The Teacher Loan Forgiveness program pays a $5,000 - $17,500, one-time only reward towards Federal Stafford loans. For more details on the requirements and eligibility visit the Federal Student Aid website.

Schools serving over 30% low-income families qualify as low-income. For a list of low-income schools, please visit the Teacher Cancellation Low-Income School Directory (TCLI). Search the state and the year the teaching service began. The list for the current school year will be entered into the federal database in April; the most up-to-date list may be from the previous school year. Please note: The TCLI is updated every January of the current school year. If you do not see your school listed, check back at the end of January before submitting an inquiry. 

If the school is not included in the TCLI for the specified year, the school administrator can complete the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Survey for KDE approval. This form will not be accepted unless it is completed/verified by a school or district administrator. After the form has been reviewed, the administrator will receive an email notification that the school has been added to TCLI.

Individuals wishing to receive Teacher Loan Forgiveness should complete the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application after completing the minimum of five years at a qualifying low income school. The application should be sent directly to the lender.

Note: Borrowers can’t receive credit toward Teacher Loan Forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) for the same period. That means, if you seek and receive Teacher Loan Forgiveness, the five-year period of service that supported your eligibility will NOT count toward PSLF. It is recommended that you consider whether you’re interested in PSLF before deciding to pursue Teacher Loan Forgiveness, because changes cannot be made once you receive forgiveness.

Teacher Loan Cancellation

A teacher with a loan from the Federal Perkins Loan Program, teaching at a qualifying low-income school or in certain subject areas can qualify for loan cancellation. Up to 100% of the loan may be cancelled for teaching service. 15% is canceled for the first and second years of service, 20% is canceled for the third and fourth years of service, and 30% is canceled for the fifth year of service.


The TEACH Grant provides up to $4,000 per year to students if they agree to teach in a "high need field" for four complete academic years at qualifying low-income schools. A "high need field" includes academic disciplines/subject areas identified as teacher shortage areas (TSA) at the time the grant recipient begins teaching in that field. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) releases a Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listing annually. TSA data can also be searched on the Teacher Shortage Area Data website. A list of designated teacher shortage areas in Kentucky can be found in the Commissioner's Monday Message, July 22, 2019. Unlike loan forgiveness and cancellation, the TEACH Grant is handled by participating colleges and universities. For a list of participating Kentucky colleges and contact information, please consult the TEACH Grant Contact Sheet. Questions about the TEACH Grant should be directed to the individual listed on the contact sheet.

For more information on the TEACH Grant, Certification forms, or to check your grant status, visit MOHELA​'s TEACH Grant Information webpage.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program allows you to receive forgiveness of the remaining balance of your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments while working full time for a qualifying employer.

There is also the potential for forgiveness under the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness ​(TEPSLF) opportunity. If some or all of the payments you made on your Direct Loans were under a non-qualifying repayment plan for PSLF, you may qualify for TEPSLF if you meet the other requirements. For more information, visit the TEPSLF information page.

PSLF Help To​​​​ol

For the best experience using this tool, It is strongly recommend that you read Become a Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Help Tool Ninja before getting started.

Use the PSLF Help Tool to search for a qualifying employer, learn what actions you may need to take to become eligible for PSLF or TEPSLF, and generate a PSLF form. After you submit your PSLF form to MOHELA, if you have Direct Loans and work for a qualifying employer, you will receive a count of the number of qualifying payments you have made toward both PSLF and TEPSLF.

​Learn more about PSLF and TEPSLF.

The Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan

The SAVE plan​ is the newest income-driven repayment plan (IDR). The SAVE plan calculates your monthly payment amount based on your income and family size. In addition, the SAVE plan has unique benefits that will lower payments for many borrowers. 

In February of 2024, The U.S. Department of Education and President Joe Biden implemented a new round of student loan forgiveness. This latest wave covers loans for those who are enrolled in the SAVE plan, originally borrowed $12,000 or less, and have been in repayment for at least 10 years.

Use the IDR application to apply for the SAVE plan.


Erica Tipton
Office of Continuous Improvement and Support
Division of School and Program Improvement
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-3791  Ext. 4036
Fax (502) 564-8149

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