Student loans are often necessary to finance a college education. However, many graduates find it difficult to repay student loans after graduation.While there is a grace period of six months before graduates must begin repaying loans, in today’s job marketplace it may take longer to secure employment and often a new graduates begin at low salaries making it difficult to repay student loans.Student loan forgiveness programs will officially “forgive” all or part of the loan amount, which means that that amount does not have to be paid back. There are student loan forgiveness programs for teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers and other professions.Student loan forgiveness may be possible for teachers by working full-time in an elementary or secondary school in low-income communities. Many education majors and others preparing for a teaching career take out Perkins loans. If a teacher meets certain qualifications it may be possible to cancel the entire Perkins loan. Perkins loans are provided by the individual college or university, so graduates will need to contact the financial aid department of the college attended to get information on debt forgiveness.Heath care workers and medical professionals may also qualify for student loan forgiveness programs. Working in low-income communities or areas with a shortage of medical personnel is one way of qualifying for some programs. Health professionals can also have a set amount repaid on their behalf if they are conducting medical research through a special program offered by the US National Institute of Health.Graduates of a variety of disciplines may consider the Americorps and Peace Corps volunteers student loan forgiveness programs. Americorps volunteers help in many areas of community service receive an education award of $4,725 for a year of full-time service which can be to repay a student loans.Peace Corps volunteers are eligible for a 15 percent cancellation of their outstanding student loan balance for each year of Peace Corps service. Additional educational and financial benefits are available.If you have large student loan balances, check into the many student loan forgiveness programs available in employment and volunteer opportunities that can help you reduce your debt.