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1040 Ez 20111040 ez 2011 5. 1040 ez 2011 Student Loan Cancellations and Repayment Assistance Table of Contents Introduction Student Loan CancellationQualifying Loans Student Loan Repayment Assistance Introduction Generally, if you are responsible for making loan payments, and the loan is canceled (forgiven), you must include the amount that was forgiven in your gross income for tax purposes. 1040 ez 2011 However, if you fulfill certain requirements, two types of student loan assistance may be tax free. 1040 ez 2011 The types of assistance discussed in this chapter are: Student loan cancellation, and Student loan repayment assistance. 1040 ez 2011 Student Loan Cancellation If your student loan is canceled, you may not have to include any amount in income. 1040 ez 2011 This section describes the requirements for tax-free treatment of canceled student loans. 1040 ez 2011 Qualifying Loans To qualify for tax-free treatment, for the cancellation of your loan, your loan must have been made by a qualified lender to assist you in attending an eligible educational institution and contain a provision that all or part of the debt will be canceled if you work: For a certain period of time, In certain professions, and For any of a broad class of employers. 1040 ez 2011 The cancellation of your loan will not qualify for tax-free treatment if it is cancelled because of services you performed for the educational institution that made the loan or other organization that provided the funds. 1040 ez 2011 See Exception, later. 1040 ez 2011 Eligible educational institution. 1040 ez 2011 This is an educational institution that maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of students in attendance at the place where it carries on its educational activities. 1040 ez 2011 Qualified lenders. 1040 ez 2011 These include the following. 1040 ez 2011 The United States, or an instrumentality thereof. 1040 ez 2011 A state, territory, or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, or any political subdivision thereof. 1040 ez 2011 A public benefit corporation that is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3); and that has assumed control of a state, county, or municipal hospital; and whose employees are considered public employees under state law. 1040 ez 2011 An eligible educational institution, if the loan is made: As part of an agreement with an entity described in (1), (2), (3) under which the funds to make the loan were provided to the educational institution, or Under a program of the educational institution that is designed to encourage its students to serve in occupations with unmet needs or in areas with unmet needs where the services provided by the students (or former students) are for or under the direction of a governmental unit or a tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organization. 1040 ez 2011 Occupations with unmet needs include medicine, nursing, teaching, and law. 1040 ez 2011 Section 501(c)(3) organization. 1040 ez 2011 This is any corporation, community chest, fund, or foundation organized and operated exclusively for one or more of the following purposes. 1040 ez 2011 Charitable. 1040 ez 2011 Religious. 1040 ez 2011 Educational. 1040 ez 2011 Scientific. 1040 ez 2011 Literary. 1040 ez 2011 Testing for public safety. 1040 ez 2011 Fostering national or international amateur sports competition (but only if none of its activities involve providing athletic facilities or equipment). 1040 ez 2011 The prevention of cruelty to children or animals. 1040 ez 2011 Exception. 1040 ez 2011 The cancellation of your loan does not qualify as tax-free student loan cancellation if your student loan was made by an educational institution and is canceled because of services you performed for the educational institution or other organization that provided the funds. 1040 ez 2011 Refinanced Loan If you refinanced a student loan with another loan from an eligible educational institution or a tax-exempt organization, that loan may also be considered as made by a qualified lender. 1040 ez 2011 The refinanced loan is considered made by a qualified lender if it is made under a program of the refinancing organization that is designed to encourage students to serve in occupations with unmet needs or in areas with unmet needs where the services required of the students are for or under the direction of a governmental unit or a tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organization. 1040 ez 2011 Student Loan Repayment Assistance Student loan repayments made to you are tax free if you received them for any of the following: The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program (NHSC Loan Repayment Program). 1040 ez 2011 A state education loan repayment program eligible for funds under the Public Health Service Act. 1040 ez 2011 Any other state loan repayment or loan forgiveness program that is intended to provide for the increased availability of health services in under served or health professional shortage areas (as determined by such state). 1040 ez 2011 You cannot deduct the interest you paid on a student loan to the extent payments were made through your participation in the above programs. 1040 ez 2011 Prev Up Next Home More Online Publications
Financing Your Education
Financing Your Education
The U.S. Department of Education provides information on preparing for and funding education beyond high school with details on the federal aid programs. Another source of information on financial assistance is www.finaid.org. Both sites offer calculators to help you determine how much school will cost, how much you need to save, and how much aid you will need.
Paying for College 101
Many state governments have created 529 plans that make it easier for families to save for their child’s education. These plans, which can be sponsored by states or institutions of higher learning, encourage saving for future college costs, and the earnings grow tax-free. There are two main types: “pre-paid tuition plans” and “college savings plans.” Pre-paid plans allow you to pay for your child’s college tuition based on today’s costs, and then pay out at the future (higher) cost once your child is in college. College savings plans allow you to invest money in several investment funds, ranging in risk level, to pay for your child’s college education. For more information about the different types of 529 plans and the plans available in each state, visit collegesavings.org.
Other helpful college planning tips:
- Pay close attention to state and federal financial aid deadlines. You'll want to file well before the deadline though, so you can receive aid before funds run out.
- Check the Department of Education's student budget calculator. You can plug in tuition costs, room and board and other expenses along with how much money you have in student loans or grants to get an idea of where you stand financially.
- Make sure your college bound child gets involved in the process. Point them to College.gov where they can learn to manage their money in college and avoid common scams that target students.
Student Financial Aid
Student Financial Aid is available from a wide variety of sources including the federal government, individual states, directly from colleges and universities, as well as from numerous other public and private agencies and organizations. Whatever the source, all forms of college aid fall into four basic categories:
- Grants. Gift aid from grants does not have to be repaid and is generally awarded based at least partially on financial need.
- Work Study. The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) is a federally funded source of financial assistance used to offset financial education costs. Students earn money by working and attending school. The money does not have to be repaid.
- Loans. Funds that are borrowed and must be repaid with interest are loans. As a general rule, educational loans have far more favorable terms and interest rates than traditional consumer loans.
- Scholarships. Offered by schools, local/community organizations, private institutions and trusts, scholarships do not have to be repaid and are generally awarded based on some specific criteria.
Federal Student Aid Information Center
The Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) can answer your federal student financial aid questions and can give you all the help you need for free. You can also use the FSAIC automated response system to find out whether your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application has been processed and to request a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR).
Federal Loan Program Repayment Information
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.Offers forgiveness for outstanding federal loans for individuals working full time in public service jobs.
- Income-Based Repayment Plan. Helps to make repaying education loans more affordable for low-income borrowers.
- Department of Education
- Federal Student Aid
- National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
Comparing Student Loans
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has a Know Before You Owe Student Loan website, developed in partnership with the Department of Education. It provides financial aid shopping sheets that help schools communicate the financial aid options available to students.