Student Loan Information
While serving, Volunteers are still responsible for any student loans they have. But, there may be benefits available to you, including deferment, partial cancellation, income-driven repayment, or forgiveness.
Potential benefits depend on the type of loan you have (federal or private), the specific loan you have (Perkins, Stafford, Federal Direct, Federal Direct Consolidated, etc.), and what you intend to do after service.
Research your options carefully, as you may not be eligible for all benefits and your individual circumstances will determine the best option for you.
If you have federal student loans, such as Stafford, Perkins, direct, and consolidated loans, you may be eligible for deferment, partial cancellation, income-driven repayment, or eligibility for the Public Loan Service Forgiveness Program during Peace Corps service. Volunteers with Perkins loans may be eligible for a 15–70 percent cancellation benefit. Contact FedLoan Servicing at 855.265.4038 or visit studentloans.gov to determine what type of loans you have, and if they are eligible.
If you have a private loan, you will need to contact your loan servicer to see if they provide any student loan relief for Peace Corps Volunteer service.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Peace Corps Volunteer service is considered qualifying employment for the Department of Education's Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. If you are working full-time for a qualifying employer, PSLF forgives the remainder of certain federal loans after 120 monthly payments are made under a qualifying repayment plan. Under a qualifying repayment plan, your payments could be $0 per month while volunteering. Signing up at the beginning of your service allows you to make the greatest number of qualifying payments.
You can find more information on student loans at the Department of Education’s guide for Peace Corps Volunteers with student loans [PDF] and at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s guide for Peace Corps Volunteers with student loans [PDF].
Please note that the Peace Corps cannot grant or deny student loan deferment, cancellation, or forgiveness. Student loan relief policies are up to your lenders, so please contact your lenders to determine what options are available and what makes the most sense for you.