Managing student loans during volunteer service

We often hear from people who say that they would love to do a year or semester of service with Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC), but feel like they have too many student loans that they have to repay. If that’s you, we have some good news! There are actually several options to affordably pay your student loans.Money_flying_sm

Service with LVC also provides you with valuable work experience to help you get a job after volunteering and/or makes you eligible for many generous graduate school scholarships. So, you are not throwing money away by opting to serve instead of getting a full-time job.

If you have private loans, you’ll need to talk with your lender about repayment options. If you have a co-signer on any loan, it’s also important to discuss any loan repayment plans with them.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLFP)

If you are considering non-profit or government work, you can have your loan balance forgiven after 120 monthly payments via the PSLFP on Federal Direct Loans. And, you can count payments made during your LVC term  toward this 120 month limit!

For the PSLFP, you need to:

  1. Have Federal Direct Loans
  2. Be on an Income-Driven Repayment Plan
  3.  Submit the  required paperwork for up to 11 monthly payments made during your LVC term*

Other Loan Repayment Options

Deferment or forbearance are also options for your student loan debt, usually based on “economic hardship.” If you’re planning on graduate school and may end up accumulating and/or consolidating more student loan debt, deferment or forbearance may be the better options for you during your LVC term, going to an income-driven plan after graduate school. LVC will provide a letter for you to verify your income for an application for deferment or forbearance.

There are loan forgiveness programs specifically for teachers as well, with potential for 100% loan forgiveness after 5 years.

For more details, check out this one page doc, LVC Service & Student Loans.


  • Your loan lender – always start with your lender for specific questions about your loans.
  • Federal Loan Consolidation:  1-800-557-7392.