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If one thing is certain, the United States needs nurses. The country is facing a nursing shortage, meanwhile, many nurses are facing the financial strain of repaying their nursing school student loans. Let’s find out how to decrease how much you owe on your nursing school student loans.

Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program

This program offers registered nurses a way to pay off up to 85 percent of their nursing school student loans. To qualify for this program you must commit to serve in locations where there is a nursing shortage. The Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program pays 60 percent of your loan balance during the first two years and then an additional 25 percent if you serve for a third year.

There are thousands of nonprofit hospitals and clinics nationwide that qualify as underserved.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

This program resembles the Nursing Education Loan Repayment since nurses must commit to working in an underserved area to qualify. You need to make 120 qualified loan payments in order to have the remaining balance of your loan forgiven. However, only certain loans can be paid under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. These are:

  • Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loans
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford/Ford Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Direct Consolidation Loans

Parents who carry Direct PLUS loan debt may qualify for this program if they are employed by a public service organization. Also, other federal loans can qualify if they are consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation And Discharge

Full time nurses can apply for a 100 percent loan forgiveness through this plan. If you have a Federal Perkins Loan, the school or loan servicer that made the loan can process your application. Contact your nursing school for more information.

Refinancing For Nurses With Student Loans

Refinancing a student loan can lower your interest rate and overall payment. Essentially any loan can be refinanced at any time by exchanging your old loan for a new one with better terms. This means lower monthly payments, lower total payment, or in some cases, both.

Services like Credible offer an extra advantage since they automate the refinancing process, and it’s free. They automatically gets quotes from different lenders so you can choose the best available rate.

Income Based Repayment Plans

If your debt is higher than, or a large percentage of, your salary, then you might be eligible for an income based repayment plan. Under these plans you generally pay 10 to 15 percent of your income toward the loan payment. After completing 20 to 25 years of payments, you may have any remaining student loan debt forgiven.

State Based Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Many individual states also offer their own loan forgiveness programs for registered nurses. In most cases, these programs involve a commitment to serving in an underserved area or a veteran’s health care facility.


Nurses provide an essential service that is in high demand. Many opportunities exist today that help nurses make repayments towards their nursing school student loans.

Be sure to check out Credible to compare multiple personalized offers from refinancing lenders by filling out just one simple form.