Architect Student Loan Forgiveness and Repayment AssistanceMarch 9, 2022
According to the American Institute of Architects, the average student loan debt among graduates with a five-year Bachelor’s degree comes in at $42,000 while the average debt for those who earn a Master’s in Architecture tops $72,000.
With so many architects owing so much, it’s unsurprising that many graduates with degrees in this field are interested in student loan forgiveness for architects. But what options are available for architecture student loan forgiveness? Here’s what you need to know.
Architecture Student Loan Forgiveness Options
Your options for student loan forgiveness for architects can vary depending on where you live as well as the type of work that you do. Here are some of the most common ways you can get your outstanding loan balance forgiven or find assistance in repaying your debt.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Public Service Loan Forgiveness is available for qualifying federal student loans. Eligibility is not restricted to architects alone but rather is open to anyone who works for a qualifying employer. This includes working full time for the government or for a 501(c)(3).
If you work for a qualifying employer, you can take advantage of Public Service Loan Forgiveness if you make 120 on-time payments on an income-driven repayment plan. You will need to make sure you select an eligible repayment program and will need to submit a request to have your loans forgiven once you have made the requisite number of payments over time.
Income-Driven Repayment Plans
Income-driven repayment plans also offer built-in loan forgiveness after you have paid on your loans for a certain number of years. There are four different income-driven payment plans that are available including:
- REPAYE Plan: Payments are capped at 10% of discretionary income. Any remaining loan balance is forgiven after 20 years if all of your loans were for undergraduate studies or after 25 years if any of the loans you took out were for graduate or professional study.
- PAYE Plan: Payments are capped at the lesser of 10% of discretionary income or the amount you’d owe under the 10-year standard repayment plan. Any remaining loan balance is forgiven after 20 years.
- Income-Based Repayment: If you are a new borrower after July 1, 2014, payments are capped at the lesser of 10% of your discretionary income or the amount that would be due under a standard 10-year repayment plan. If you borrowed before July 1, 2014, payments are capped at 15% of your income or the amount due under a standard payoff plan, whichever is lower. For new borrowers on or after July 1, 2014, any remaining balance is forgiven after 20 years. For those who borrowed before then, forgiveness is available only after 25 years.
- Income-Contingent Repayment Plan; The maximum payment is 20% of your income or the amount you would owe on a repayment plan that had fixed payments and a 12-year repayment schedule, as adjusted for income. After 25 years, any outstanding loan balance will be forgiven.
These plans can provide student loan forgiveness for architects regardless of what employer they opt to work for. However, your debt is not wiped away until you have made payments for many years and you may pay a substantial amount of interest over this time.
Other Sources of Student Loan Forgiveness for Architects
While there are currently no federal programs specifically dedicated to architecture student loan forgiveness, there could be other options available to those who need help paying off the debt they accrued to earn their degree.
For example, the Architects Foundation is currently fundraising to offer a student loan relief program. Individual states or professional organizations in local areas may also offer loan repayment relief programs. You can check with your state’s department of education or with your former school’s financial aid office to explore different ways to deal with your debt.
What to Do When Architecture Student Loan Forgiveness Isn’t Available
While student loan forgiveness for architects may be an option, not everyone will be able to take advantage of the programs that provide debt repayment help. If you cannot qualify for architecture student loan forgiveness, you may have other options to make debt payoff easier. Some of the best solutions include the following.
Employer-Provided Repayment Assistance
Some companies offer help paying student loans as an employment incentive. If you’re worried about how to repay your debt from architecture school, you may wish to look for a company offering this workplace benefit.
Refinancing Student Loans
Refinancing student loans could be an ideal option for anyone with student loan debt as you could potentially lower your interest rate and save thousands of dollars. Refinancing your loans means you’ll have completely different terms than you had before. You’ll have a new interest rate, repayment term, minimum payment, and loan servicer.
Keep in mind that when you refinance federal student loans, they become private loans and you will no longer have access to federal student loan benefits.
ELFI could help you with the refinancing process.* We offer low-interest rates, flexible repayment options, and no application fee. Plus, applying won’t hurt your credit score. Check out ELFI’s student loan refinancing calculator to see how much you could potentially save.*