Maine Loan Programs - Payment Forgiveness
The State of Maine offers certain repayment benefits and loan forgiveness in return for providing services in the related profession to Maine communities. Click the appropriate section below for details on each loan program.
As an Educators for Maine (EFM) Loan Program recipient, you may be eligible to have one year’s loan forgiven for each year of return service in which you are a full-time teacher, speech pathologist or child care provider with appropriate credentials in an eligible Maine school or child care center. In addition, two year’s worth of your loan may be forgiven for each year that you are a full-time teacher in an eligible Maine school working in an underserved subject area.
Partial loan forgiveness is also available on a prorated basis under certain circumstances. Contact FAME for details.
Who Qualifies for Forgiveness?
Teachers who meet the following qualifications:
- Certified by the Maine Department of Education;
- Employed at a Maine public elementary or secondary school, a Maine private elementary or secondary school that has been approved for tuition purposes, or a state-operated school;
- Employed as an elementary or secondary teacher, specialized subject teacher, vocational or industrial arts teacher including the following; unless modified by law:
- Classroom Teacher
- Itinerant Teacher
- Guidance Counselor
- Librarian-Media Specialist
- Special Education Teacher
- Special Teacher of Reading
- Speech Pathologist/Therapist
- Chapter 1 Tutor
Child care providers who received a degree or certificate from a child care development program, such as:
- Child development
- Early childhood education
- Early childhood development
- Health and human services, with a focus on early childhood
- Special education from birth to five years
- Other similar programs, as determined by FAME
- Employed at a child care facility, defined as:
- a house or other place in which a person provides care and protection for compensation for 13 or more children under 13 years of age; or
- a location or locations operated as a single child care program or by a person or persons when there are more than 12 children being cared for; or
- home day care in which a person provides day care in that person's home on a regular basis for compensation for three to 12 children under 13 years of age who are not the children of the provider.
In addition, return service must begin within five years of graduation from an institution of higher education or completion of certification coursework.
How Do I Request Forgiveness?
Once you obtain a qualifying teaching or child care position, you must submit documentation to FAME for a review of your forgiveness eligibility.
- Teachers must provide a school employment contract.
- Child care providers must provide a letter of employment and copy of college transcript showing evidence of an appropriate degree or certificate.
FAME will review your documentation to determine eligibility of the return service position and will notify you of initial approval. The Educators for Maine loan will be placed in non-repayment status while you are employed in a return service position.
At or near the end of your first year of return service, FAME will send you an employment verification form which must be completed and returned to FAME in order to begin processing forgiveness of your loan
How Do I Qualify for Additional Loan Forgiveness?
Two year’s worth of your loan may be forgiven for each year that you are a full-time teacher in an eligible Maine school working in an underserved subject area.
Currently, the underserved subject areas for Maine are:
- Teachers of English as a Second Language
- Teachers of Foreign Languages including French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Latin, and German
- Teachers of Science and Mathematics
- Speech and Hearing Clinicians
- Teachers of Technology Education/Industrial Arts
- Teachers of Special Education (Birth to five years and through grade 12)
- Teachers of Gifted/Talented Students
Please Note: Underserved subject areas are determined by the U.S. Department of Education and may change each year.
What Other Things Should I Know?
Forgiveness for a child care position can only be granted to a borrower who has received a certificate or degree in Early Childhood Education, or another similar degree. Therefore, a borrower with a degree in elementary or secondary education cannot receive forgiveness for a child care position.
Partial loan forgiveness may be available if you are working part-time and meet all other requirements. You must be employed on at least a 20% basis, based on a 10-month academic year or a five day work week.
Most Education Technician positions are not eligible for loan forgiveness. However, if you are working in a Chapter 1 program, you may be eligible. Please contact FAME for more information.
What if I am not eligible for forgiveness and I have to repay my loan?
If you do not qualify for the loan forgiveness option, you must repay the amount of the loan, including principal and interest, to FAME. Repayment must be completed according to the terms specified in your promissory note. Loan repayment will begin six months following the month you graduate, complete your coursework or withdraw.
What if I am having difficulty making my monthly payments?
If you are experiencing difficulty making your monthly payment, be sure to contact FAME to discuss alternative payment arrangements. A deferment may be granted in certain limited circumstances, including:
- Returning to school at least half-time
- Financial hardship or unemployment
- Participation in a national volunteer service position
- Employed as an Education Technician
What is the Maine Health Professions Loan Program?
This is is a need-based, low interest loan program for Maine residents pursuing postgraduate medical, dental and veterinary education.
Who can apply?
Any Maine resident who has been admitted to a program of allopathic, osteopathic, veterinary medicine or dentistry at an institution of medical education that has been accredited by the appropriate accrediting agency.
What are the eligibility criteria?
- Be a resident of Maine for purposes other than education, for a minimum of one year prior to matriculation into medical school;
- Be admitted to a program of allopathic, osteopathic, veterinary medicine or dentistry at an institution of medical education that has been accredited by the appropriate accreditation agency;
- Be obtaining your first program loan in 2011
How do I apply?
Applications are available online in February of each year. You must also submit the FAFSA.
What is the deadline?
The completed FAME application must be postmarked on or before May 30. You must also submit the FAFSA. FAME recommends submitting the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible but no later than May 30.
What are the award amounts?
You may receive up to $25,000 annually, for a maximum of 4 years.
Doctors for Maine's Future Scholarship recipients may receive up to $10,000 annually, for a maximum of 4 years.
Is this loan renewable?
Yes, awards are renewable based on available funding and a renewal application must be completed each year. Renewal applications are mailed to current recipients by the end of February.
How are the funds disbursed?
Disbursement of loan funds is made directly to the institution for credit to your student account.
Can I attend use these funds at any college/university?
You must attend an accredited institution of medical, dental or veterinary education.
What else should I know?
Students who obtained their first program loan prior to 2011 are subject to different provisions and should contact FAME with questions.
This program is governed by Maine law as set forth in 20-A M.R.S.A. §12101 et seq. and Chapter 617 of the Rules of the Finance Authority of Maine.
For loans made prior to January 1, 2011, please contact FAME for loan repayment information.
Certain Maine Health Professions Loan Program recipients may be granted loan forgiveness. The rate of forgiveness is based on location and type of practice and/or population served. Maine Health Professions Loans, plus interest, must be repaid if a loan recipient is not an eligible physician, or practices outside of Maine. If the loan recipient returns to Maine but does not enter an eligible practice, the loan will have to be repaid with interest at 1.5% below the Stafford Loan Rate over a ten-year period. If the loan recipient does not return to Maine to practice, the loan will have to be repaid with interest at 1.5% above the Stafford Loan rate over a ten-year period.
Maine Health Professions Loan Program Repayment Chart
For loans made prior to January 1, 2011
|Complete a Maine primary care residency and practice primary care in a health care professional shortage area or providing services to an underserved group.
||50% forgiveness for each full year of practice.
|Complete a Maine primary care residency and practice primary care anywhere in Maine.
||25% forgiveness for each year of such practice.
Primary care physicians and general dentists practicing in a designated health care professional shortage area.
Any physician practicing in an underserved specialty.
Any physician providing services to a designated underserved group.
Veterinarians providing services to Maine residents with insufficient veterinary services.
|25% of original total loan amount or $7,500 for each full year of practice, whichever is greater.
|Primary care practice in Maine not covered above.
||12.5% of original total loan amount or $3,750 for each full year of practice, whichever is greater.
|Non-eligible practice in Maine.
||10-year repayment period with interest accruing. Interest rate is 1.5% below Stafford Loan Rate in effect at time of first loan approval.
||10-year repayment period with interest accruing. Interest rate is 1.5% above Stafford Loan Rate in effect at time of first loan approval.
For loans made prior to January 1, 2011, please contact FAME for loan repayment information.
As a Maine Dental Education Loan Recipient you may be eligible to have all or part of your dental education loan debt forgiven under certain circumstances. This program was created to increase access to dental care for underserved populations in Maine.
Dental Loan Recipients:
Loan recipients practicing primary dental care in an eligible dental facility in an underserved area (as determined by the Commissioner of The Maine Department of Health & Human Services) may be forgiven 25 % of their original outstanding indebtedness on an annual basis. Recipients must provide documentation that they have practiced primary dental care in an eligible facility in an underserved area. Loan recipients may receive partial loan forgiveness on a pro rata basis if they fulfill all the criteria but maintain the appropriate practice for less than a year.
To be considered an eligible dental facility, the facility must offer primary dental care and accept patients without regard for payment source, accept MaineCare, accept payment based on a sliding fee scale from patients with family income up to 200% of poverty level, and not limit service to patients based on payment source.
The repayment period will begin six months following the completion of professional education or upon withdrawal from school. Loans must be repaid over a term no greater than ten years. Interest is calculated using the applicable Stafford loan rate at the time of the recipient’s original note plus 1.5 %.
Deferments during the repayment period may be granted by the chief executive officer at FAME. A deferment will not ordinarily be granted for a period greater than a year and may be granted in the following circumstances:
- The temporary disability of the borrower
- The borrower’s inability to meet the requirements of the forgiveness provision
- The demonstration that immediate repayment will cause undue hardship
- Such other reasons as the chief executive officer may approve
Dental Practitioners Receiving Loan Repayment:
- Eligible recipients may receive repayment of outstanding indebtedness at a rate of up to $ 20,000 per year for up to four years.
- Recipients must serve as a practitioner of dental medicine in an eligible dental facility in an approved underserved population area.
- Recipients must sign an agreement for two years which may be renewed for an additional 2 years.
- Payments of $ 20,000 annually will be provided to the recipient upon evidence of education indebtedness.
- The recipient must repay amounts received if not used for appropriate purposes or if the recipient does not complete two years of service at the eligible facility.