Students who want to go to college but face a daunting amount of student loan debt have an option to work in government or nonprofit jobs and have their loans for given after 10 years.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program “is designed to help ease the burden of skyrocketing tuition costs while encouraging graduates to enter low-paying but socially important “Main Street” jobs — like teachers, firefighters, nurses, librarians, court clerks, public defenders and EMTs,” according to CNN Money.

Students also can qualify by working at certain nonprofit organizations. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers a guide (PDF) to help students determine if their employer is qualified.

To take advantage of the program, the student must make loan payments on time for 10 years while working in qualified public service jobs. After that time, if the work and payment history are approved, the student’s remaining federal debt will be forgiven.

The Department of Education also answers some frequently asked questions (PDF) about the program.

Judith Ackland has more than 26 years of experience in accountancy and financial planning, including seventeen years as a CFO of a diverse business. She started Crystal Financial in 2010 to help a wide array of individuals, families, and business owners better understand their finances and how good financial management could help them achieve their goals. Judith has an MA in Professional Accountancy from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as well as a Certified Public Accountant Certificate and a Certified Financial Planner designation.

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