Other Financial Resources
There are many external resources that can help you manage the financial transition. We have listed a few below. (Note that TNTP Teaching Fellows does not specifically endorse any of these options. They are presented as suggestions for further research.)
Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLFP)
To qualify for loan forgiveness for a federal loan, you must work for five consecutive years in a qualifying Title I school. You also must meet the standard to be considered as "highly qualified" for all five years of service (through degree and required teacher tests). You must not have an outstanding balance on direct loans or FFEL loans as of October 1, 1998, or you must have obtained those loans after October 1, 1998. You cannot be in default on a subsidized or unsubsidized loan, unless you have made "satisfactory repayments.” The loan for which you are seeking forgiveness must have been made within the five years of teaching. All secondary math, secondary science and special education teachers are eligible for up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness. All other teachers are eligible for up to $5,000.
Qualifying Loans: Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
Read more about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program here.
Visit a directory of low-income schools eligible for loan forgiveness and cancellation here.
Apply for Teacher Loan Forgiveness here.
A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to consolidate (or combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments. A Direct Consolidation Loan for federal loans has a fixed interest rate based on the weighted average of the loans being consolidated.
In order to qualify, you must have at least one Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan that is in a grace period or in repayment. If you want to consolidate a defaulted loan, you must either make satisfactory repayment arrangements on the loan with your current loan servicer before you consolidate, or you must agree to repay your new Direct Consolidation Loan under the Income-Based Repayment Plan, Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan, or Income-Contingent Repayment Plan.
Repayment plans can range from 10 to 30 years, based on the amount being consolidated, other education debt and the selected repayment plan. Repayment can begin in 60 days or sooner.
Eligible Loan Types:
- Direct Subsidized Loans
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
- Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- PLUS loans from the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program
- Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS)
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal Nursing Loans
- Health Education Assistance Loans
Short-Term Health Care
You may require short-term health care as you transition out of school or your current job. When choosing your short-term health care, be sure to inquire if your plan meets Minimum Essential Coverage requirements. If not, you may be required to pay a tax penalty.
Affordable Health Care
Though this is not considered short-term health care, you may enroll in a plan now and update or cancel the care once you are hired as a full-time teacher. Contact a healthcare.gov representative (1-800-318-2596) and report this "life event." Coverage varies by state, and a variety of plans are available. While open enrollment is closed for 2014, visit www.healthcare.gov to see if you qualify for “Special Enrollment.”
A variety of plans are available. You can arrange to pay on a monthly basis, and select a six-month or 11-month plan. You may also select to pay up front for a 30-day or one-month plan. Prices range from $35 to more than $100 per month, depending on the individual. Coverage begins the very next day when enrolling in this plan.
Coverage is available for one to six months, and plans start at about $55 per month and range up to about $200 per month. Most plans are between $75 and $150 per month. This is a slightly more expensive option, and benefits vary by individual.
This plan offers coverage with a maximum of six to 11 months. It offers a $50 co-pay for urgent care with multiple plan options.
If you are leaving a job that provided health insurance, you may want to enroll in COBRA. This would allow the previous health insurance to remain in effect for up to 18 months after employment is terminated. COBRA is typically a more expensive option, usually costing several hundred per month.
Temporarily Add-on to a Family Member's Plan
Another option could always be to add on to the insurance of a family member or significant other. If you are 26 or under, you are eligible to be covered under a parent's insurance plan. Rules regarding family and significant others vary by insurance policy.
There are many options for personal loans. These are loans from banks or another source that have a fixed payment schedule and can be used to fund anything desired, including living costs, health care or education costs. You are given a lump sum of money up front, and you will be required to make monthly payments. Eligibility requirements vary by provider, but most also require a credit check.
Personal loan providers:
Home Equity Loans
Through a home equity loan you may borrow a lump sum of money and use home ownership as collateral. A credit check is required, and most lenders require moderate to good credit ratings. Home equity loans tend to have lower interest rates than many other loans. Also, interest rates can be fixed, so there is no need to worry about increases. These loans allow flexibility for spending and they can be used in any way in which the borrower chooses.
Research where you can find the best rates on home equity loans in your area at Lending Tree or Bankrate.com. These companies will compare rates at banks in your area, and you can select the lowest rate.