Minister Educational Debt Assistance

​The Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions helps ministers repay educational debt through Minister Educational Debt Assistance.

The Board of Pensions is unable to receive and process mail at this time while our offices are closed. To apply for a grant, email your completed application form to memberservices@pensions.org. If you have any questions, please contact us.  

Minister Educational Debt Assistance makes it easier for ministers to accept a wide range of positions and wholly commit their best gifts to ministry.​

Who's eligible

For 2020

To qualify, you must

  • be a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) minister enrolled in Pastor's Participation;
  • have completed a CREDO conference or the Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations program*;
  • have an effective salary below $80,000 and a total household adjusted gross income** of less than twice the national median for pastors ($121,600 in 2020) as reported on the most recent income tax return;
  • meet criteria established by the Board to ensure the need-based nature of the program;
  • meet a student loan debt coaching requirement; and
  • repay your documented, interest-bearing educational debt by a specified monthly amount based on your effective salary and the amount of debt (see Assistance recipient educational debt repayment commitment chart).

For 2021

To qualify, you must

  • be a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) minister enrolled in Pastor's Participation or Minister's Choice;
  • have completed a CREDO conference or the Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations program*;
  • have an effective salary below $80,000 and a total household adjusted gross income** of less than twice the national median for pastors ($122,400 in 2021) as reported on the most recent income tax return;
  • meet criteria established by the Board to ensure the need-based nature of the program;
  • meet a student loan debt coaching requirement; and
  • repay your documented, interest-bearing educational debt by a specified monthly amount based on your effective salary and the amount of debt (see Assistance recipient educational debt repayment commitment chart).

*If the minister also receives a grant through Healthy Pastors, Healthy Congregations, the combined grants may not exceed $25,000. Participation in the two debt relief programs may not be concurrent.

**Adjusted gross income is the total income you and your spouse report on federal tax form 1040 that's subject to income tax. It may include earnings from your and your spouse's job, self-employment, alimony income, and interest from a bank account — minus specific deductions, such as housing allowance, or adjustments, you're eligible to take.

Amount

$5,000 per year, for up to five years. Total awards may not exceed $25,000 over five years.

The funds available and number of grants awarded each year are limited. Awards are at the discretion of the Board of Pensions. The Board considers your financial means, the nature and amount of your debt, and other factors, as appropriate.

Participant contribution and coaching

The Board's contribution of $5,000 a year for five years or until your debt is eliminated, whichever comes first, is contingent upon you paying your loan servicer a specified amount monthly  and you receiving student loan debt coaching from PeopleJoy, a financial wellness/educational debt reduction firm with which the Board has partnered.

The amount you must commit to pay is based on your effective salary and the amount of your educational debt, as shown below: 

Assistance recipient educational debt repayment commitment ​ ​
​Effective salary​Debt $28,000
You pay the lesser of:
​Debt > $28,000
You pay:
​< $40,000​3% or MMP*​MMP
​$40,000-$49,999​4% or MMP​MMP
​$50,000-$59,999​5% or MMP​MMP
$60,000-$69,999​​6% or MMP​MMP
​$70,000-$79,999​7% or MMP​MMP
​> $80,000​not eligible​not eligible
​*MMP = minimum monthly payment ​ ​

Participant contributions will be verified.

How to apply

Need help?

​Call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN).