Opportunity Maine

  • Opportunity Maine is a grassroots coalition that helped establish the Educational Opportunity Tax Credit (EOTC) program for individuals who have earned a qualified college degree in Maine and continue to live and work in the state.
  • The EOTC program is designed to provide tax benefits to Maine residents paying back eligible student loans.  If you graduated from a Maine college, and live and work in the state, then you may be eligible for tax credits based upon the amount of student loan payments that you have made during the year.
  • Beginning with loans borrowed in January 2008, residents may be eligible to claim a significant tax credit to pay student loans after they graduate.  Businesses may also eligible for the tax credit if they agree to pay a students’ loan.
  • To take advantage of the Educational Opportunity Tax Credit (EOTC), please complete and submit the Educational Opportunity Tax Credit Worksheet when you file your Maine income tax return. This tax credit worksheet can be found here.
  • Students who graduated in 2008 & 2009 were required to complete and submit to the Office of Student Financial Aid an Opportunity Maine Contract prior to graduation. A contract is no longer required.
  • When completing the worksheet, you will need to know the Benchmark Loan Payment (see below).
  • Important: Upon review of this worksheet, Maine Revenue Services may request supporting documentation for any or the following: degree received; date of degree; academic credit hours earned for the degree prior to January 1, 2008 and after December 31, 2007; the institution(s) from which the degree was earned; the educational loans that qualify for the credit; the educational loan payments made by you or your employer during the tax year that qualify for the credit; any other information necessary to substantiate the credit claimed.

The Benchmark Loan Payment is:
Year of Graduation Associate degree Bachelor degree Graduate degree
2008   $360^  
2009   $368^  
2010 $72* $343*  
2011 $68* $344*  
2012 $65* $342*  
2013 $65* $356*  
2014 $66* $363*  
2015 $70* $377*  
2016 $70* $373* $325*
2017 $68* $364* $317*
2018 $74* $377* $328*

^ The benchmark loan payment for 2008 and 2009 was calculated by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

* The benchmark loan payment was calculated by the State of Maine.

Stafford/Direct Loan Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession.

  • Under this program, individuals who teach full time for five consecutive, complete academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools that serve low-income families and meet other qualifications may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 in principal and interest on their FFEL and/or Direct Loan program loans.
  • As of August 14, 2008, an otherwise eligible borrower may qualify for forgiveness if the borrower has provided qualifying teaching services at one or more locations that are operated by an educational service agency.

Federal Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation

You qualify for cancellation (discharge) of up to 100 percent of a Federal Perkins Loan if you have served full time in a public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school system as a

  • teacher in a school serving students from low-income families; or
  • special-education teacher, including teachers of infants, toddlers, children, or youth with disabilities; or
  • teacher in the fields of mathematics, science, foreign languages, or bilingual education, or in any other field of expertise determined by a state education agency to have a shortage of qualified teachers in that state

Exit Counseling

Once you graduate, you will need to complete exit counseling if you have received any Federal Stafford/Direct or Federal Perkins Loans.

National Student Loan Data System

Access to data regarding your Federal loans and Federal grants.