There are both federal and state programs that can help forgive and cancel out student loans and many state programs allow you to double dip and utilize multiple avenues at once to maximize the amount of student loans you can cancel\u00a0in exchange for teaching.\r\nHere are the four ways teachers can get student loans forgiven or cancelled:\r\n1. Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)\r\n\r\nPSLF began\u00a0in 2007 as a way to encourage people to work in full-time public service jobs. This program forgives the\u00a0William D. Ford Direct Loans (including direct subsidized loans, direct unsubsidized loans, direct PLUS loans and direct consolidation loans).\r\n\r\n \tBefore\u00a0any of your student loans will be forgiven, you must make 120 on-time, full amount, monthly payments on your direct loans.\r\n \tOnly payments made after 10\/1\/2007 qualify.\r\n \tYou must have been working full-time at a qualifying public service organization (schools count) when the payments were made.\r\n\r\nThat means you must have made 10 years worth of student loan payment while working in public service. And with a start date of October 2007, no forgiveness will start until October 2017. You can access the PSLF certification form here.\r\n\r\n2. Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness\r\n\r\nThis program is aimed at encouraging people to become and remain teachers. If you work for consecutive full years in a qualifying school, you could have up to $17,500 of student loans forgiven. This program is good for loans established after 10\/1\/1998 but you can\u2019t be in default. At least one of your five years of teaching must have been after the 1997-1998 academic year. Eligible loans include direct subsidized and unsubsidized student loans, Stafford subsidized and unsubsidized student loans. Here are the\u00a0eligibility requirements for the teacher loan forgiveness program:\r\n\r\n \tThe school you teach at must be in a district that qualifies for Title I funding.\r\n \tThe school must have more than 30% of enrollment qualified for Title I services.\r\n \tThe school must be listed in a\u00a0directory of qualifying schools\u00a0published by the government.\r\n \tIf your school qualifies in one of the five years, but not the others, you are likely still eligible.\r\n \tAs an alternative, you can work at a qualifying educational service agency.\r\n\r\nThe amount of forgiveness varies. Most teachers can have $5,000 of loans forgiven. But you can have up to $17,500 of your student loans forgiven if you are a \u201chighly qualified\u201d math or science teacher at a secondary school or a \u201chighly qualified\u201d special education teacher working with disabled children in your area of specific training.\u00a0You can get an application for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program here.\r\n\r\n3. Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation Program\r\n\r\nThe Federal Perkins loan cancellation program is bit\u00a0more lenient in how much of your student loans it will cancel. You can have up to 100% of your Federal Perkins loan forgiven. You only have to teach full time for one full academic year (or two consecutive half years within a 12 month period) to see some benefit. For the first two years, you can have 15% cancelled each year. For years three and four, you can have 20% cancelled each year. For year five, you can have the final 30% of your loans cancelled. Here are the eligibility requirements for the Perkins loan cancellation program:\r\n\r\n \tYou can teach in a school that serves low-income families; or\r\n \tYou can be a special education teacher (including infants and toddlers); or\r\n \tYou can teach in math, science, foreign language, bilingual education or any other field your state has determined is in shortage.\r\n\r\nYou can also qualify for teaching at a private school if it\u2019s a nonprofit. You can qualify if you teach part-time at multiple schools so long as you meet the other requirements. Preschool and PreK teacher can qualify if the state you teach in considers these part of their elementary education program. To find out if your school qualifies as low-income,\u00a0check this database. The amount cancelled each year also includes all interest that accrued that year. To get the application form for this program, contact the office at your alumni institute that administers the Federal Perkins Loan program.\r\n\r\n4. State and City Sponsored Loan Forgiveness Programs\r\n\r\nThere are loads of\u00a0state sponsored student loan forgiveness programs. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has compiled a\u00a0searchable database\u00a0of loan forgiveness programs, grants, awards and classroom donation programs. You can specify loan forgiveness, select your grade level, your subject area and state and you can see what student loan forgiveness and cancellation programs are available in your state. Your local school board should be able to provide you information on any county or\u00a0city funded forgiveness programs.\u00a0In the meantime, while you\u2019re searching for forgiveness and cancellation programs, it\u2019s wise to\u00a0consult an expert to\u00a0help you manage your student loans\u00a0to optimize your debt.