student loan repayment head

      Student Loan Repayment Assistance

      • Stafford County Public Schools is excited to offer Student Loan Repayment Assistance to licensed employees with fewer than ten (10) years of experience. This benefit is administered by BenefitEd, a trusted and experienced vendor for education assistance programs, ensuring confidentiality throughout the process. BenefitEd is capable of making payments to any student loan servicing body (whether public or private loans) on behalf of the employee. 

        Employees who are (a) employed in licensed positions and (b) have fewer than ten years of experience are eligible to participate in this program. This includes licensed employees who were previously in service positions (e.g., paraprofessionals), were substitute teachers, or hourly employees.

        For the purpose of this program, licensed positions include the following:

        • Teachers, including general education, special education, and specialists

        • Librarians

        • School counselors

        • School social workers

        • School psychologists

        • Speech language pathologists

        • Occupational therapists and physical therapists

         Licensed employees may participate for a maximum of four years or until ten years of experience is completed. 

        For more information on the Student Loan Repayment Assistance program, please contact Crystal Loving at lovingcl@staffordschools.net.

      Federal Student Loan Programs

      • We know many SCPS employees have student loan debt - teachers, other licensed professionals, service staff, even administrators. We also know that the current state of student loans is confusing - an upcoming end to the federal student loan repayment pause; a new plan for federal student debt relief for eligible borrowers; expanded eligibility for other loan forgiveness programs. It’s a lot to process.

        Because there are some important deadlines in the coming weeks and months, we wanted to share some resources that we found useful. To be clear, we are not financial advisors, and we recommend consulting a financial advisor or calling Federal Student Aid for more specific guidance for your situation. However, we want to summarize the major programs, the major deadlines, and where you should look for more information.

          1. All work for SCPS may help you earn credit towards qualifying for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, if you are making what Federal Student Aid calls “qualifying payments” (payments on specific types of federal loans under specific repayment plans.)

            1. Federal Student Aid has offered a temporary waiver that allows more payments to count as “qualifying payments” for PSLF; this will benefit many borrowers whose loans were not in one of the specific repayment plans required for the program.

            2. To be eligible for this waiver, though, you need to apply for PSLF no later than October 31, 2022. 

            3. The PSLF Help Tool is a good place to start if you have not started a PSLF application already.

          2. Teachers may be eligible for two different programs as well

            1. Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) offers forgiveness of up to $17,500 for teachers of math, science, and special education, and $5,000 for teachers of elementary general education in qualifying schools.

            2. Teacher Perkins Loan Cancellation offers year-by-year cancellation of Federal Perkins Loans for any teaching experience in a qualifying school (using the same definition of “qualifying school” as TLF. 

            3. You can get good information on those programs here - but, please know that you can’t use the same years of experience for TLF and PSLF, so you’ll want to look at both programs to decide which is best for you. 

          3. For PSLF and TLF, you will need Verifications of Employment on the forms specified by those programs; for SCPS, please send those forms to Michelle Miller at millerml1@staffordschools.net. 

          4. The President announced a broader federal student debt relief program of up to $20,000; while the deadline to apply is on December 31, 2022, the application for this program has not been released yet. Even if you apply for PSLF or TLF, you can still apply for this program once the application is released. 

          5. Finally, the student loan repayment pause in place since March 2020 will end at the end of his calendar year, so please be prepared for payments on federal loans to resume in January 2023.

        There are a number of other federal student debt relief programs for more specific situations - too many to summarize here, so if interested, here is the Federal Student Aid page that lists all of them.

        Finally, for licensed staff with fewer than ten years of experience, you may be eligible for our own student debt relief benefit - student loan repayment assistance! Unlike the programs described above, you can use this benefit to help repay any type of student loan (public or private), to a maximum of $1,500 a year. Eligible employees should have already received an email invitation from BenefitEd, our vendor helping with this service. For questions about this program, you can read the FAQ here; contact Crystal Loving at lovingcl@staffordschools.net with questions.