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 2017 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, 2020 to March 31, 2020.
Questions should be directed to Andrea Wedler, Director of Financial Aid, via e-mail or at 518-445-2357.
College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007
This 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:
- are employed by any nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization;
- are employed by the federal government, a state government, local government, or tribal government (this includes the military and public schools and colleges); or
- serve in a full-time Americorps position.
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:
- your employer is not "a business organized for profit, a labor union, a partisan political organization, or an organization engaged in religious activities, unless the qualifying activities are unrelated to religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing;" and
- your employer provides any of the following services: emergency management; military service; public safety; law enforcement; public interest law services; public child care; public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly; public health; public education; public library services; and school library or other school-based services.
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-Driven Repayment Plans
An income-driven repayment plan sets your monthly student loan payment at an amount that is intended to be affordable based on your income and family size. There are currently four income-driven repayment plans available:
- Revised Pay as You Earn Repayment (REPAYE Plan)
- Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE Plan)
- Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR Plan)
- Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR Plan)
If you'd like to repay your federal student loans under an income-driven plan, you need to fill out an application. Please contact your servicer for information. If you'd like to get additional details and compare plans, visit: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-drive
This program cancels a percentage of a borrower's outstanding Perkins's loan debt for performing certain kinds of public service jobs. In Conference Committee, language was added extending this program's reach to "a full-time attorney employed in a defender organization established with section 3006A(g)(2) of Title 18", i.e., (A) federal public defender, and (B) community defender. The program cancels 15% for the first or second year; 20% for the third or fourth year, and 30% for the fifth, or 100% forgiveness for 5 years service.