Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) Albany Law School has always been committed to making rewarding public interest careers more viable to its graduates. To further that commitment, the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) was launched in December 2004. This program is designed to help alleviate the financial burden of educational loan repayment upon students who wish to pursue careers in public interest law, as well as city, county and state attorney's offices, and agencies operated by a city, county or state.
The LRAP allows graduates from the Class of 2010 or later to apply for forgivable loans of up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of three years.
The full program description and application are available below. Applications will be accepted from Jan. 31, 2013 to March 31, 2013.
Questions should be directed to Andrea Wedler, Director of Financial Aid, via e-mail or at 518-445-2357.
View a talk given at Albany Law School in March 2013 by Deanne Loonin, director of the National Consumer Law Center's Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project.
College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007This Act established a new public service loan forgiveness program. This program discharges any remaining debt after 10 years of full-time employment in public service. The borrower must have made 120 payments as part of the Direct Loan program in order to obtain this benefit. Only payments made on or after October 1, 2007, count toward the required 120 monthly payments. (Borrowers may consolidate into Direct Lending in order to qualify for this loan forgiveness program starting July 1, 2008.)
Public Service Loan Forgiveness(This text was provided by and additional information can be found at www.ibrinfo.org) Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a new program for federal student loan borrowers who work in certain kinds of jobs. It will forgive remaining debt after 10 years of eligible employment and qualifying loan payments. (During those 10 years, the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan can help keep your loan payments affordable.)
Who can get Public Service Loan Forgiveness? This program is for people with federal student loans who work in a wide range of "public service" jobs, including jobs in government and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. What are eligible jobs?
In most cases, eligibility is based on whether you work for an eligible employer. Your job is eligible if you:
If you don't meet these criteria, you may still be eligible in certain circumstances. The Department of Education's draft regulations create a two-part test:
Please note that these definitions of eligible jobs reflect the outcome of negotiations concluded in April 2008, but they may be revised before the Department of Education finalizes its rules for Public Service Loan Forgiveness by November 1, 2008.
What kinds of loans does it cover? It covers federal Stafford, Grad PLUS, or consolidation loans as long as they are in the Direct Loan program. Borrowers with loans in the Guaranteed (or FFEL) loan program must switch to the Direct Loan program to get this benefit.
When does the 10-year clock start, and which payments count?Only payments made after October 1, 2007, count towards the 10 years (120 monthly payments, not necessarily consecutive) required for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Qualifying payments must be made through the Direct Loan program and include Income Contingent Repayment, Standard (10-year) Repayment, or Income-Based Repayment (available in July 2009).
To count, these payments must be made while you're working full-time in an eligible job. "Full-time," according to the latest information from the Department of Education, means an average of 30 hours per week or the standard for full-time used by the employer, whichever is greater. In professions such as teaching, annual contracts that include at least eight months of full-time work will be treated as the equivalent of a full year's employment. If you meet all the criteria, the earliest your remaining debt could be forgiven is October 2017.
What if I've already paid off my loans by then? This loan forgiveness program will only benefit people who still owe money on their federal loans after 10 years of eligible payments and employment. If your income is low relative to your debt, and you qualify for reduced payments under IBR (or Income Contingent Repayment) at any time during those 10 years, you will likely have debt left to forgive.
Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is a new payment option for federal student loans. It can help borrowers keep their loan payments affordable with payment caps based on their income and family size. For most eligible borrowers, IBR loan payments will be less than 10 percent of their income - and even smaller for borrowers with low earnings. IBR will also forgive remaining debt, if any, after 25 years of qualifying payments.
Who can use IBR? IBR is available to federal student loan borrowers in both the Direct and Guaranteed (or FFEL) loan programs, and covers most types of federal loans made to students, but not those made to parents (click here for more about qualifying loans). To enter IBR, you have to have enough debt relative to your income to qualify for a reduced payment. That means it would take more than 15 percent of whatever you earn above 150% of poverty level to pay off your loans on a standard 10-year payment plan. Use our calculator to see if you're likely to be eligible.
How does IBR make payments more affordable? IBR uses a kind of sliding scale to determine how much you can afford to pay on your federal loans. If you earn below 150% of the poverty level for your family size, your required loan payment will be $0. If you earn more, your loan payment will be capped at 15 percent of whatever you earn above that amount. Except for the highest earners, that usually works out to less than 10 percent of your total income.
What about interest?In some situations, your reduced payment under IBR may not cover the interest on your loans. If so, the government will pay that interest on your Subsidized Stafford Loans for your first three years in IBR. After three years and for other loan types, the interest will be added to the total amount you owe. While your debt may grow if your affordable payments are low enough, anything you still owe after 25 years of qualifying payments will be forgiven.
What are qualifying payments? The Department of Education has indicated that the following types of payments will count towards IBR's 25-year forgiveness period, as long as you are in IBR at some point during those 25 years.
Higher Education Reauthorization and College Opportunity Act of 2008For full details, please visit the American Bar Association's Student Loan Forgiveness website. The following text was written by the ABA. On August 14, 2008, the President signed into law, P.L. 110-315, Higher Education and Opportunity Act, which provides public service lawyers four additional avenues of potential loan relief. This legislation reauthorized the Higher Education Act for the first time since 1998 and included among a number of substantial reforms to higher education the following: