Worried about your student loan debt?

Did you know the average college graduate has more than $37,000 in student loan debt?1 Or that the total outstanding federal student loan debt in the U.S. is currently at $1.5 trillion?2 So if you feel overwhelmed about the amount of money you owe for your student loans, you’re not alone.

Managing student loan debt is an important step in developing a holistic financial strategy. In some cases, student loan debt can be forgiven, based on your service, or repayment and refinancing options may help lower payments. You could then take any savings you realize from removing or reducing your student loan payments and redirect that extra money toward your other life goals.


The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is designed for current and former classroom teachers.


  • Must teach five consecutive years in a qualifying school
  • Must be a new borrower after October 1, 1998

Qualifying loans

  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
  • Federal Family Education Program Loans (FFEL)
  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Forgiveness amount

  • $5,000 for most teachers
  • Up to $17,500 for special education teachers of any grade as well as highly qualified secondary3 math and science teachers.

Perkins loans are often referred to as the campus-based loans and as a borrower, you must navigate loan forgiveness with the college or university that issued the loan. Forgiveness may equal up to 100 percent over five years and is based on eligibility requirements.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program is available to all full-time public service employees. In order to receive loan forgiveness, you must make 120 qualifying loan payments4 on Direct Loans in qualifying repayment plans while working for a qualifying employer. After completing the program, the amount forgiven is your remaining balance.

Parent PLUS Loans, which are taken for your child’s education, may be forgiven through PSLF. This could mean your child can go to school to pursue any vocation with any institution, and the forgiveness is based on your service in education. In order to qualify:

  • The loan must be in the educator’s name
  • Must be a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  • Must consolidate to a Direct PLUS Loan
  • Educator must remain in full-time public service employment for 120 months while making qualifying payments


If you have private loans or do not qualify for federal loan forgiveness, refinancing may be an option for you. Refinancing offers the potential to lower your interest rate, lower your monthly payment and reduce the number of loan servicers.

However, keep in mind that refinancing a federal student loan will make you ineligible for loan forgiveness programs, could lengthen the repayment period of the loan, could result in paying more interest over time, and would result in a waiver of any current and future benefits of these programs.

Income-driven repayment options may also reduce monthly payments and make them more manageable. Contact your Horace Mann representative for more information about reducing your student loan payments. Please keep in mind that when you make lower payments, you will extend your repayment period and you will pay more in interest over time.


Redirecting savings from your student loan payments may help achieve your life goals.

Here's an example of how it can work:

A 23-year-old kindergarten teacher in her second year in the classroom has $35,000 in student loan debt. She learned she could qualify for an income-driven repayment plan. Under an income-driven repayment plan, lower levels of income equal lower monthly payments. So, the teacher was able to reduce her current monthly payment by more than $137 and redirect those savings to her retirement.

By investing $137 every month, by the time this teacher is ready to retire at the age of 63, she could have more than $260,000 saved by redirecting the monthly savings to a retirement savings program. (This example assumes 6% annual earnings and no withdrawals. Results are hypothetical for illustrative purposes only and do not reflect the performance of any specific investment.)

But your Horace Mann representative can also help you explore whether you may qualify for federal forgiveness programs to remove some or all of your debt, plus share loan estimator tools that can help you decide your best course of action.

Get a free student loan review

Student loan forgiveness can be confusing and overwhelming, but you don’t have to go it alone. We’ve helped put educators on the path to over $200 million in loan forgiveness5 and would love to try and help you, too. Start by completing a complimentary Student Loan Assessment. Our Student Loan Solutions team will review your information and follow up with a personalized recommendation for your unique circumstances. And don’t worry – our student loan assistance is available at no cost to you and with no strings attached.

1. National Center for Education Statistics (2016)
2. Federal Reserve (2019)
3. Definition of ‘secondary’ varies by state
4. Qualifying payments include standard and income-driven repayment payments
5. Based on potential savings of educators assisted by Horace Mann from October 2016 through July 2018 as calculated with the Federal Student Aid Repayment Estimator.

WBTL-0746 (May 19)

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