Loan Repayment Options

If you are using student loans, you have a few options:

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The federal government offers Loan forgiveness options that can be found on this website:
https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation

Besides those considerations, every state offers as well different ways in which those student
loans could be reduced or forgiven.

For the State of Virginia, these are the two options available related to DMU field of education:

1.) Virginia State Loan Repayment Program

https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/health-equity/virginia-loan-repayment-programs/

Who is eligible:

  • Both full-time and part-time health care professionals trained in the following disciplines
    are eligible to apply to VASLRP:
    • Mental health counselors, (MSC)
    • Health service psychologists,
      (PsyD)
    • Licensed professional counselors,
      (MSC)
    • Alcohol and abuse counselors
      (Masters level), (MSC)
    • Marriage and family therapists,
      (MSC)

Criteria:

  •  VA-SLRP participants must agree to serve at least two years initially, in a HPSA in
    Virginia as determined by HRSA. To locate Virginia’s HPSAs by address, please visit:
    https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/shortage-area
  • The Commonwealth of Virginia will now pay the full match for eligible applicants who are
    selected by the advisory committee.
  • The initial service obligation is two years, and for that time, the maximum payment is
    $100,000. An amount of $50,000 is paid by the community/Commonwealth of Virginia in
    the first two years of the agreement and up to $50,000 paid by the VASLRP Program.
    For the third and fourth renewal years, extensions can be awarded each year up to
    $40,000 ($20,000 VA-SLRP and $20,000 community/ Commonwealth of Virginia). All
    amounts are determined by the VA-SLRP advisory committee. The total awards for all
    four years cannot exceed $140,000 or the loan balance.
  • Federal funds and matching state funds, used to support the VA-SLRP funds are exempt
    from federal income and employment taxes.

2.) Virginia Behavioral Health Student Loan Repayment Program

https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/health-equity/virginia-behavioral-health-student-loan-repayment-progam/

What is it:
To help recruit and retain behavioral health (BH) professionals to practice in
underserved areas of the Commonwealth and/or provide counseling and treatment to
underserved populations. This program will repay a portion of an eligible BH
professional’s student loan debt. In return, recipients commit to practicing in Virginia for
a minimum of two years at an eligible site.

Who is eligible:
BH-SLRP awardees must possess a valid and unrestricted license to practice in Virginia
in one of the VDH BH SLRP flier following disciplines:

  • Licensed Clinical Psychologists (PsyD),
  • Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), (MSC)

Criteria:

  •  Eligible BH-SLRP practice sites include behavioral health authorities or community
    services boards, federally qualified health centers, free clinics/hybrid clinics, rural health
    clinics, state mental health or correctional facilities, nonprofit organizations serving
    uninsured or medically underserved populations and/or communities, and stand-alone
    inpatient psychiatric facilities serving uninsured or medically underserved populations
    and/or communities.
  • Priority will be given to eligible BH professionals of color, those who speak more than
    one language fluently, and/or those who practice in one of Virginia’s many mental health
    professional shortage areas.
  • Total award amount will not exceed 25% of student loan debt (annual limits include
    $30,000 for Psychiatrists and Psych NPs and $20,000 for Psychologists, LPCs, and
    LCSWs).
  • No employer or community match is required.

For any questions related to this programs please contact:
Fernando Suarez at financialaid@divinemercy.edu