Chain of Wealth

E211 – Teacher Loan Forgiveness for Student Loans

Connect with Our Guest

Subscribe to Chain of Wealth

Join 40,515 Monthly Listeners

Subscribe to Chain of Wealth

Join 40,515 Monthly Listeners

Pro Tip: Timestamps below are clickable. Click on the time below in the brackets and the audio will start playing at that part of the show.

Need a financial checkout? Head on over to and let’s help you manage your money better! Only $75 for 30 minutes deep dive!

Denis O’Brien [0:37]
Hello, welcome to Episode 209 Teacher Loan of Forgiveness. Hey money clan a very warm welcome to the Chain of Wealth podcast. I’m your host Denis O’Brien.

Katie Welsh [0:49]
And I’m Katie Welsh.

Denis O’Brien [1:19]
So Katie really fun episode doing a deep dive specifically for teachers into their student loans.

Katie Welsh [0:57]
Yeah, well Den. You know, we have had so much conversation about things I like kinda eavesdrop on the shuttle to work that I wanted to give teachers a little bit of attention. And even if you’re not a teacher, like this still good knowledge to have, because let’s face it, we all either are a teacher, know teacher, have a family member that’s teacher, a friend,

Denis O’Brien [1:19]
Somehow a teacher is in your life.

Katie Welsh [1:20]
Yeah a teacher is in everybody’s life. So if you are not a teacher, then spread the wealth.

Denis O’Brien [1:25]
Yeah, definitely. So before we dive into today’s show, if you are a teacher we’d love to hear from you. Hit us up on Instagram, it’s @chainofwealth on Instagram. Let us know what you’re currently doing with your student loans. We’d love to know. Alright Kate you ready to dive on in?

Katie Welsh [1:41]

Denis O’Brien [1:41]
Fantastic. Let’s do it.

Voice Over [1:44]
Welcome to chain of Well, here’s your host, Denis inspiring you to begin your journey of financial freedom.

Denis O’Brien [1:57]
So Kate today we’re going to dive all into teacher student loan forgiveness. But real quick before we start, I know you have a couple of shout out to you love to give to people.

Katie Welsh [2:7]
Yeah, Den. We have our Instagram has blown up. And it makes me so happy just coming after a long day at work. And we sit down to do our podcast thing and are working in the evening. It’s really it makes my day to see that people are reaching out. So I want give a shout out to Kayla who is in college paying back her student loans while in college, which I think is amazing. And Tom, who is a newlywed. So he’s been going through that journey just like how we have. So a big shout out to you guys. Thanks. You made my day. And Denis’s too I’m sure.

Denis O’Brien [2:50]
Yeah. So I’d love to chat today’s show. So diving right in. So what are some programs that are available to teachers Kate? Like I obviously know that teachers play a very critical role in society as it is. And therefore there are a whole bunch of programs that teachers do qualify for. However, not many people know what is necessarily available to them? So what programs would you recommend that people look into?

Katie Welsh [3:16]
So there are a couple, I am most familiar with the teacher loan forgiveness program, because that is what I use. But there’s also the public service loan forgiveness which does any helps anybody who’s in public service, like a nurse or a firefighter or a teacher, it gets a little tricky there with a teacher though, because we do have other loans. So you have to really know what you’re doing. If you are a teacher and you want to do the Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Denis O’Brien [3:47]
Right there’s a whole bunch of like rules you have to follow. And if you if you miss like even one of them, you could maybe not qualify.

Katie Welsh [3:54]
Right. And that is like that is a story for a whole nother podcast.

Denis O’Brien [3:58]
Yeah, no, definitely.

Katie Welsh [3:59]
There’s also the Perkins loan forgiveness program, and a couple others that those are the top three off the top of my head. But I do want to talk about the teacher loan forgiveness program, because a couple of people have reached out and asked me about it. And so where to begin? So I know, for teachers, a lot of times, there’s always that. It’s like the chicken and the egg analogy. So why would I want to teach at a low performing school. A lot of people don’t want to work at a low performing school because you get essentially like a bonus at the end of the year, depending on whether your school is an A grade, or a B grade or C grade. I don’t know if you get really a bonus or C grade, but definitely A schools get a bonus at the end of the year. And it’s a healthy bonus.

Denis O’Brien [5:24]
It’s kind of ironic that the schools get graded, I don’t think?

Katie Welsh [5:0]
It is.

Denis O’Brien [5:2]
But you It’s unfair Kate but that whole system is that if you’re really good teacher, in a lower grade school, you’re not going to get paid a good bonus.

Katie Welsh [5:10]
Well, and that is the egg analogy Den. Because a lot of the teachers who are working at those lower performing schools, those teachers are like magicians, first of all.

Denis O’Brien [5:24]
Right, because they’re trying really hard to you know, make sure that things are good and going well.

Katie Welsh [5:30]
They help their students make such huge gains. I could go on and on about this. But like when you’re taking a kid who’s in third grade and reading as a first grader and now they are reading as a second grader, that’s still a year’s worth of growth, like, yeah, you’re still behind. But you have learned a lot. But that teacher isn’t going to get recognized. So a lot of really qualified teachers are not jumping at the bit to work in their schools, because they’re not as recognized, then there is a lot more paperwork and bureaucracy,

Denis O’Brien [6:2]

Katie Welsh [6:3]
And stuff that comes with it. But I’m going to pivot because there are really great aspects of working in a higher need school. In my neck of the woods, we called it a title one school. And that is if you have a student loan, it can be a huge help. Now, what I’m going to say is going to be great news and not so great news at the same time, depending on where you are in your teaching journey.

Denis O’Brien [6:33]

Katie Welsh [6:34]
So if you’re working in a low performing school for a while, you are going to be eligible for some forgiveness on your student loan. And what that means is after you have finished your fifth year, so going into your sixth year, so you’ve been teaching a while you have skin in the game, you’re now eligible for loan forgiveness. Now if you are second year teacher, honey, it’s okay those years go by fast just keep trucking along. That’s only advice I have for you

Denis O’Brien [7:16]
Wait on that, like say it doesn’t aportion in other words, so you have to complete the full five years before you’re eligible for single dollar.

Katie Welsh [7:53]

Denis O’Brien [7:53]

Katie Welsh [7:25]
But to make it a little worthwhile, it is a lot of dollars. So, Take me for example, I have just my regular Bachelor’s of education degree. I have like a specialty and like T Sol or something. Not what the people that the teacher loan forgiveness. They don’t care about that my specialty in T Sol.

Denis O’Brien [8:19]
Wait so what is that on an unrelated note?

Katie Welsh [7:53]
Oh, so it’s just teaching speakers of other languages. So for example, if I have a student in my class who comes from Mexico or China or they just don’t speak English,

Denis O’Brien [8:4]
you’re good at addressing that.

Katie Welsh [8:5]
I have learned different strategies to help them learn the topic we’re learning about and English at the same time.

Denis O’Brien [8:14]
Okay, cool.

Katie Welsh [8:15]
Look, we’re married, we’ve been living together for so long and you are still finding out things about me.

Denis O’Brien [8:19]
Amazing what you can learn.

Katie Welsh [8:20]
So anyway, if you are just a regular education teacher, that’s okay. You still get $5000 for up to I let me rephrase that.

Denis O’Brien [8:31]

Katie Welsh [8:32]
Up to $5,000 forgiven off of your student loan. Okay.

Denis O’Brien [8:37]

Katie Welsh [8:38]
Now, this is what was very frustrating to me, because, like, I had ESC students in my classroom, if you have a special ed certificate, which I don’t have, but through the grapevine I have heard that is not overly difficult to get. Teacher loan forgiveness will forgive up to $17,500. So if I am talking to you, in your third year of teaching, and you’re thinking, oh, I’ve got like $33,000 worth of student loans, right now, because without a doubt, unless you are working at the best school in the entire world, you without a doubt have a child in your class with special needs. Get this certification, do it now. So that when you finish getting this certification, you will be eligible for the $17,500 forgiveness.

Denis O’Brien [9:41]
Hold on. So you don’t,

Katie Welsh [9:42]
I wish I would have known that back when I was going through the whole thing.

Denis O’Brien [9:45]
So you don’t have to have that qualification for the entire period of that five years. You only have to have finished with it.

Katie Welsh [9:53]
I don’t think so.

Denis O’Brien [9:55]

Katie Welsh [9:56]
I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure. As long as you have it when you were filling out the paperwork.

Denis O’Brien [10:2]
Then it’s all good.

Katie Welsh [10:3]
And you’re okay. And if I am wrong, let me know. Because that’s what I’m going around telling people. So that’s the big thing that I want to talk on. First about teacher loan forgiveness is the difference between regular education degree and then having the special education certification. Also, your loans must be federal. So whether it’s subsidized, unsubsidized, as long as it’s a federal loan, then you have met one of the qualifications for the forgiveness if it’s a private loan, that does not qualify.

Denis O’Brien [10:41]
Hectic. So Kate, I’ve got some more questions for you. But an hour be a great time to take a very short break and just say a very big thanks to our sponsor. And this week, the sponsor just happens to be none other than Chain of Wealth Instagram. We’re having a great time hanging out with everyone on Instagram. And we would love to give away more free stuff to people. So definitely hit us up on Instagram, we would love to know what you’re currently up to in your money life. So DM us, let us know what you’re up to. And we will give you a shout out and maybe we’ll be sitting in something special via snail mail. So definitely let us know.

Katie Welsh [11:52]
So don’t feel creeped out when I message you asking for your address.

Denis O’Brien [11:27]
So Kate, diving back into the episode. Okay, so what happens if you have a private loan and you’re teaching a title one school? Would you say that all is basically lost and you can’t qualify for any kind of teacher forgiveness?

Katie Welsh [11:40]
Well, I’m not going to say all is lost because the way I’m just thinking about how my student loan was I had student loans. It was like a hodgepodge collection.

Denis O’Brien [11:51]

Katie Welsh [11:52]
And when I logged into my loan provider, I had something horrific, like 13 different loans. So I’m going to assume, unless you are much more prepared for college payment than I was, you probably have some sort of federal loan,

Denis O’Brien [12:11]
Maybe some private as well.

Katie Welsh [12:13]
Maybe some private but if you’ve filled out your FAFSFA in college, if you were living in the financial aid line like everybody else, I’m going to say that it’s a safe bet that you probably do have at least one federal loan.

Denis O’Brien [12:27]
Okay, so maybe even if you took out private loans, maybe you’re at least have one federal loan that would perhaps qualify for it.

Katie Welsh [13:3]
Yeah, you could have a hodgepodge of both.

Denis O’Brien [12:36]
Okay, cool.

Katie Welsh [12:36]
Hodgepodge is like my new word of the week?

Denis O’Brien [13:7]
I can tell and yeah, in essence, before you do any of this, you can also look at consolidating your loans as well.

Katie Welsh [12:46]
Well, most definitely. So consolidating should happen way before the teacher loan forgiveness,

Denis O’Brien [12:51]

Katie Welsh [12:51]
So consolidate right when you get out of college, call up your loan provider, say you want to consolidate, and all that does is take your 13 different loans and put it into one monster loan.

Denis O’Brien [13:3]
Right. So that way it’s a lot more manageable and

Katie Welsh [13:7]
To make sure you are paying on all of your loans and not forgetting one. Yeah, I do want to talk a bit about the application for the loan forgiveness. So you can just go on to Google, you can type in teacher loan forgiveness application, it pops right up. Make sure it is is that a trustworthy website though because I have fallen victim to student loan scams, and you have to be very careful, make sure that is a legit website.

Denis O’Brien [13:42]
So how do you know that it’s a legit website?

Katie Welsh [13:45]
So it usually ends in .org. So dot ORG. So like, I’m making this up I don’t know.

Denis O’Brien [14:23]
Or just .gov .gov as well. I think the big one people go to is typically

Katie Welsh [14:1]
That it now that you say that that rings a bell. So go there, do the teacher loan forgiveness. Now I’m going to tell you, there’s going for me, I felt like it was a bit of a hassle. I actually in all truthfulness filled out this form like four or five times because I didn’t seem to get it right, all the way through at all

Denis O’Brien [14:23]

Katie Welsh [14:24]
So you’re going to need to know how much you owe. What is your interest rate, you are going to need to have all kinds of other documentation, like your social security number and stuff like that, obviously, your name, your address, you’re also going to need to get a signature, from your principal,

Denis O’Brien [14:43]

Katie Welsh [14:44]
Stating that you have worked there, you’re in good standing, all that kind of stuff. And then you’re going to need to send it in. If you fax it if you snail mail it no matter which way you do it. It is not a quick process, I want to say when I sent in my final forgiveness form that they accepted. What was it something like six months later, we heard back?

Denis O’Brien [15:10]
Yeah, I think was like three, six months later, it definitely took time for them to process it. So you want to sort of do it earlier on when you do qualify because it does take some time to work itself through the system.

Katie Welsh [15:22]
And not that I am an advocate for being annoying. But when they say the squeaky wheel gets taken care of First, I got to the point where I was calling them every couple of days see where it, where am I in the process? What do I need to do next? Is there anything else I need to be doing, and just really checking in with it and being on top of it that way, the second you hear something needs to be done, you can get it done. And then that will just push you along further in your journey.

Denis O’Brien [15:55]

Katie Welsh [15:55]
Because once you get the $5000 or the $17,500. First of all, I’m really jealous of anybody who gets that. Once you get that paid off. Not only do you have that huge chunk taken out now. But it’s like a compounding effect, sort of now you don’t have the interest accruing on all of that money either. So it is just like a win win win.

Denis O’Brien [16:22]
Yeah, but hundred percent agree. And but the thing is, after that point, they don’t pause your interest. So while it’s sitting there processing, with the Department of Education, it’s still accruing interest. So you really want to do it as soon as you can.

Katie Welsh [16:36]
After the five year mark.

Denis O’Brien [16:37]

Katie Welsh [16:40]
Other than that, Den I think if you don’t have any other questions for me for teacher loan forgiveness. That’s all I have.

Denis O’Brien [16:48]
So wait I actually do have another question. So Kate like what what if I don’t qualify for this, for whatever reasons, I’m not teaching it like a title one school, or I have the wrong loans, what sort of other options are there available to me?

Katie Welsh [17:3]
So you could always go the public service, loan forgiveness route. And that can forgive some of your loans so that you can look into the teacher Perkins loan, like we talked about earlier, there’s a couple of different loan types if you go online and look. So if you are not working in a title one school or you haven’t been teaching for five years, and you’re desperate, then definitely start looking to other resources.

Denis O’Brien [17:32]
And also there are various options available at the state level as well. There are definitely a lot of things available for teachers, which is really awesome. Like I really liked that people do try and give back to the people that are working hard to educate the minds of the young people. Because, you know Kate ultimately, like it’s such a needed job and I really feel like teachers are very underappreciated in terms of their comps so at least there are programs available to help them out with their loans.

Katie Welsh [18:0]
Yes, definitely for sure.

Denis O’Brien [18:2]
Cool. Well, I think if that’s what you have for today’s show, we may as well wrap it up Episode 211 is in the bag. We’ll catch you next time.

Enjoying Our Podcast?

We have over 150 episodes to listen to! Join over 2,167 daily listeners that pursue financial freedom.

By entering your email, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Other Podcasts

E154 – Student Loan is Gone!

Today’s episode is a bit different because we have a special occasion to celebrate today. Katie’s student loan has been paid off! Yes, you heard it right! Listen about her journey and on what she’s really been trying to achieve.


Listen »


Travis Hornsby is the chief student loan planner at He started started Student Loan Planner in October 2016 after helping his wife and her friends figure out their six figure student loans. Travis used to be a bond trader, so he took his excel heavy skill set and built models for how to save money paying back student debt.

Listen »
About the Podcast
Chain of Wealth

Chain of Wealth

The Chain of Wealth podcast is a biweekly podcast boasting over 500,000 downloads. We interview inspirational guests about money topics. You can learn more about us here.

Share On

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *