You may qualify for student loan assistance
Montana’s Quality Educator Loan Assistance Program
Our union, MEA-MFT, knows that many Montana teachers and licensed professionals—our members—graduate with heavy student loan debts.
Plus, many areas of Montana have trouble finding and keeping qualified educators.
That’s why MEA-MFT worked hard to get a loan assistance program passed in the Montana Legislature: to help our members and the Montana children and communities who need them.
Here’s how it works:
With support from MEA-MFT, the Montana Legislature has authorized a Quality Educator Loan Assistance Program for K-12 educators and licensed professionals.
The program provides for the direct repayment of student loans. The total loan repayment assistance may not exceed $3,000 per year for up to four years.
Qualified applicants will be ranked based on a scoring system that takes into account the impacted schools and academic areas.
To qualify for loan assistance, you must be:
• A full-time educator holding a valid educator license or a licensed professional providing services to students in a school district, an education cooperative, the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind, the Montana Youth Challenge Program or a state youth correctional facility.
• Teaching in an impacted school. These are more rural, have a higher percentage of economically disadvantaged students, and/or have greater challenges in closing the achievement gap.
• Teaching in an academic area impacted by critical educator shortages.
To apply for loan assistance through Montana’s Educator Loan Assistance Program:
Visit this web site - http://www.mgslp.org/repayment-options/discharge-and-forgiveness/quality-educator-loan-assistance-program
If you have questions regarding the program and application process, contact the Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program at 800.537.7508. Or contact MEA-MFT Public Policy Director Marco Ferro at 800.398.0826, 406.442.4250, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal loan forgiveness & assistance for educators
In addition to Montana’s Quality Educator Loan Assistance Program, there are federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness programs.
If you are a teacher and also a new borrower (i.e., you did not have an outstanding balance on a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan on Oct. 1, 1998, or on the date you obtained a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan after Oct. 1, 1998) and have been teaching full-time in a low-income elementary or secondary school or educational service agency for five consecutive years, you may be able to have as much as $17,500 of your subsidized or unsubsidized loans forgiven.
Your PLUS loans cannot be included. For more information, go to Teacher Loan Forgiveness. If you have a Federal Perkins Loan, see Perkins Loan Cancellation for teacher cancellation in that loan program.
More good info on student loan forgiveness at the NEA Member Benefits site.
Degrees not Debt
NEA, one of MEA-MFT's two national affiliates, has launched a new campaign called Degrees Not Debt to address the staggering debt that too many college students bear. Learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved.