Owing to a serious misconception, almost half of college students recently polled believe they won’t be saddled with student loans soon after graduation.
According to a survey of 500 current college students conducted by LendEDU, a private firm that connects students and their families with student loans and loan refinancing, 49.8 percent believe they would be able to receive federal forgiveness on their student loans after graduation.
This belief is hardly justified, given the limited circumstances in which these loans can actually be forgiven.
The US Department of Education says that federal direct student loan borrowers can get off the hook if they enter public service jobs for a specified period of time, agree to teach in an underserved area, die or become permanently disabled, or if the school they attended shuts down while they are enrolled or within 120 days after they leave.
“The biggest exemption is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and very few students go into public service,“ said Nate Matherson, who co-founded LendEDU in 2014.
“With maybe 14 percent of the American workforce in a public service job, the actual numbers of those who may qualify for student loan forgiveness or discharge is maybe below 10 percent."