Nursing Loan Forgiveness Programs

  1. I'm sure this has been posted before, but could anyone tell me how the loan forgiveness programs work for nursing programs?

    1. When does one apply for the programs, before you start school, during school, or after you have graduated?

    2. How much of your tuition do they cover? I've seen 25%, but do some offer 100%?

    3. How long is the contract with most hospitals for?

    4. What sort of hospitals are you usually placed at? Are they usually understaffed? Poorly funded?

    5. Are there any cons to receive the loan forgiveness? Does being enrolled in this program affect your salary? Do you get paid a lower starting salary than those who aren't in the program?

    Thanks.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Sheri257
    As I've stated on other threads, the terms of these deals vary but, generally ... they are not good deals for the student.

    Keep in mind that you can easily change your mind on where you want to work during school. Doing clinicals at different hospitals alone can change your decisions.

    Also, the marketplace can change while you're in school also. Pay and benefits might go up at other facilities and go down with others. What if you get stuck in the lowest paying job in the area because you're under loan obligation?

    That's exactly what happened to a couple of friends of mine. A competing hospital substantially raised their pay this year but they're stuck at the lowest paying hospital in the area because they're under loan obligation.

    If you have to take on debt ... to me, debt that you control under your own payment terms is better. One hospital contract in my area requires students to pay $167 a week if they quit.

    That's nearly $9K a year for five years. And, of course, the base pay is a good $10K a year lower than everywhere else. It's not a great place to work either.

    You really have to do a lot of research before signing these deals. I know many students who have regretted signing them.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Dec 18, '06
  4. by   Daytonite
    you have to look at the information about each of these loan forgiveness programs on an individual basis since they all have their own terms. many are offered by state or federal programs you so often are required to work at facilities operated or managed by those entities. others are offered by individual hospitals or hospital corporations. the most well-known federal one i know of is with the indian health service.
    http://www.ihs.gov/jobscareerdevelop/dhps/lrp/lrpsc.asp
    you'd have to contact them for the more specific information you are looking for.

    a number of states also have loan forgiveness programs in exchange for working in their state healthcare facilities as well. you can find some information for your state at this website even though it is for medical students, it gives information for all healthcare career loan forgiveness information:
    aamc: financing your medical education
  5. by   hawflakes
    Thanks for the information and advice. I'm currently in the process of applying to schools and wanted to find out the best way to finish school with as little debt as possible and heard about the forgiveness programs.

    However, I wasn't sure how great these programs are and when speaking with financial aid, they were always ambigious about the details, either because they knew little about them or wanted to always put things in a positive light b/c they wanted you to enter their program without worrying about loans.

    Is there anyone who is or was in a loan forgiveness program and happy about the situation?
  6. by   amyk_ncsu
    The one at my school works by paying 80% of your tuition and fees and then you work for them after school. If you quit the job or dont take a position with them, then it becomes a regular loan and a payment plan is developed. It takes into account how many hours of school you took, and if I remember right, 4 months of employment equals about 1 semester of school. So a 2 year program means you work for them for 1 year 4 months and then you dont owe them time or money anymore. Oh, and you have to work full time to qualify as repayment. I figured they were all about like this, but it seems that some of them are pretty harsh!
  7. by   SA2BDOCTOR
    I was seriously considering signing up for this option next summer. However, I will really have to findout more about it. I really do not want to be stuck with a low paying job. However, when you get free money at a time that you truly need it, then what???

    I guess having a job is better than no job at all!!!
  8. by   RNinJune2007
    Quote from hawflakes
    I'm sure this has been posted before, but could anyone tell me how the loan forgiveness programs work for nursing programs?

    1. When does one apply for the programs, before you start school, during school, or after you have graduated?

    2. How much of your tuition do they cover? I've seen 25%, but do some offer 100%?

    3. How long is the contract with most hospitals for?

    4. What sort of hospitals are you usually placed at? Are they usually understaffed? Poorly funded?

    5. Are there any cons to receive the loan forgiveness? Does being enrolled in this program affect your salary? Do you get paid a lower starting salary than those who aren't in the program?

    Thanks.
    I'll answer your questions regarding my OWN loan forgiveness program, but keep in mind it prob will not be the same...

    1)I applied in the first few weeks of school, as did everyone else who wanted to do that in my program.

    2)In my program, they cover 80% of tuition (not including books or fees)

    3)4 months per semester of loan (which the loan is for 1800 per semester)

    4) We have to stay in the hospital system (my school is through a healthcare system, so we must stay in the county I go to school in, at a hospital here.)

    5)Not for us... basically even if you decide NOT to work at their facilities, and, for example move away, it's a 0% loan while you're in school... of course interested begins once you graduate if you choose not to be employed there, it is still a nice loan for a low APR.
  9. by   danh3190
    In my school the loan forgiveness is 100% of tuition and fees only. We pay our own books, uniforms, stethescope, etc.

    We're required to work for 2 years as a nurse in patient care at any of the UPMC facilities. Since UPMC is the major organization in our area, we'll probably end up there anyhow.

    If we don't work for UPMC we are liable for the amount of the loan plus a service charge of some hundreds of dollars. I don't remember if in one lump sum or if they'll allow installments.

    Even though they pay the tuition, the loan they give us is still considered taxable income. So when we finally finish our two years at UPMC the approximately $15,000 tuition gets reported to the IRS as income so we'll have to pay thousands of dollars in income tax. UPMC calculates the tax we'll owe and then witholds it over the two years and gives it to us when the tax is due.
  10. by   Seank
    My son, a new nurse, works at Scottsdale Healthcare in Scottsdale, AZ. They are making his loan payments and there is no commitment. If he leaves, that's the end of it. It's a great deal.
  11. by   ExCorporateRN
    Quote from suezeekay
    My son, a new nurse, works at Scottsdale Healthcare in Scottsdale, AZ. They are making his loan payments and there is no commitment. If he leaves, that's the end of it. It's a great deal.
    Wouldn't this be a negotiable option during the interview? If they want or need you bad enough to ask for "no commitment"?
  12. by   Seank
    Quote from CorporateToRN
    Wouldn't this be a negotiable option during the interview? If they want or need you bad enough to ask for "no commitment"?
    He was told during the interview that they had a loan replayment program starting after three months. They patterned it on the NELRP guidelines. He submitted his nursing school loan info to them and they approved it without any hassle. The maximum payment wasn't quite enough to cover the payments but is still a great help as he has debt from his first degree in business and private loans as well. There are no strings attached, as I said. He didn't have to negotiate this. It's a magnet hospital and the pay is commensurate with the area. They had a training program for ICU and that's the first reason he wanted to work there. The only fly in the ointment was even though he checked with numerous people to see if it was a DSH hospital before he committed, and was assured it was, in the end, it wasn't. It's sister hospital is. So, he didn't have a chance for the 60% loan repayment program, but oh well. If he stays, in the end this will be almost as good.

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