According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) about 37 million Americans have incurred student loan debt that averages $26,600 per borrower. How will young people manage the burden? One answer is to take a job in public service.

Several types of relief from student loan debt are available to anyone who works for a federal, state or local government entity or 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. The CFPB has estimates that this group includes 33 million U.S. workers, 25 percent of the U.S. workforce.

A new CFPB consumer guide, Public Service & Student Debt, explains the variety of ways public service employees can:

  1. Qualify for affordable loan payments;
  2. Reduce the loan interest rate; and
  3. Receive principal forgiveness.

As the guide explains, an effective strategy for paying off federal direct loans is to start by choosing an Income-Based Repayment option right out of college. Under this method, most entry-level public service employees qualify for low monthly payments based on salary and family size. After 10 years of on-time payments, a public service worker qualifies for full forgiveness on any remaining federal direct loan principal. (Privately issued and Perkins loans are not eligible for principal forgiveness.)

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.