If you’re a member of the military who has served for at least one year, it’s possible that your student loan debt could be forgiven. Here’s how to find out if you qualify and what to do next.
Not all debt is created equally. Some debt can be erased, and others cannot. This guide will help you decide which type of military student loan forgiveness program applies to your situation so that you can get the most out of it as possible.Many military students have their college education funded by the government, but if they decide to leave service before completing a degree, there may be harsh consequences. The following guide will explain which active-duty student loan forgiveness programs are available for this purpose and what criteria you need to meet in order to qualify.
The “department of defense student loan repayment program” is a guide to the many different military student loan forgiveness programs that are available. It includes information on how to get started, what you can expect from each program, and more.
If you have served or plan to serve in the United States Army, we thank you for your courage, bravery and sacrifice. They are true heroes and deserve the utmost respect.
We cannot put a price on all that you give to serve our country. But it is true that you should have the benefits of a student loan. This guide provides a complete list of student loan forgiveness programs available to military personnel and veterans today.
Most military personnel are eligible for programs to waive military student loans.
The College Credit Repayment Program (CLRP) was passed by Congress to encourage entry into the military. Military personnel can get up to $65,000 in student loans.
Each military installation can decide for itself how much it is willing to offer (see below). Regardless of the unit you serve in, you must be a recruit serving in the appropriate military specialty (MOS). To qualify, you must also have previous student loan debt and a Montgomery GI Bill exemption.
It is important to note that your student loans must be federal loans and not defaulted.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) is not a student loan forgiveness program specifically for military personnel. Instead, it’s available to anyone with direct federal loans who works in a public service specialty – and military service qualifies.
The PSLF program has a lot to offer. It allows borrowers to cancel their debt in as little as 10 years. And the amount awarded is not subject to income tax.
You must pay 120 student loans while working for an eligible employer. This could be a problem unless you plan to stay in the military for 10 years. If not, you will need to find full-time employment with another eligible employer after you are laid off. Jobs in law enforcement, firefighting and parking enforcement are popular with ex-military, and anyone can benefit from the PSLF.
Related: What is considered full-time employment for purposes of the PSLF?
To qualify for the PSLF program, you must enroll in an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. For IDR plans, your monthly payments are based on your monthly income and family size. Even if you do not have 10 years of government service, you will be eligible for IDR remission after 20 to 25 years of payments.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) was passed by the Bush administration in 2003. It provides a range of protections and benefits for members of the Armed Forces on active duty.
But one of the most attractive benefits of the SCRA is the cap of 6% interest on all pre-project debt. This rule applies not only to student loans, but also to all other types of debt, such as credit cards, mortgages, and personal loans.
The interesting thing about this interest rate cap is that lenders are required to apply it retroactively from the date you were called up for active military service. You may receive compensation from the bank or lender for interest above 6%.
This means that you can have all of your student loan repayments with an APR of more than 6% cancelled. And if you have high-interest credit card debt, you can get a large fee from the credit card issuer that can be used to pay off student loans.
Your federal student loans can earn 0% interest while you serve. To qualify for the program, you must be deployed to a combat zone and receive a special reward. This benefit applies only to direct loans or a portion of a consolidated direct loan used to repay loans made on or after the first anniversary of the date of the loan. October 2008.
A 0% interest rate is available for as many months as you serve in a hostile fire zone, up to a maximum of 60 months. Again, the 0% interest can be applied retroactively. Even if you are no longer serving in a combat zone, it is not too late to apply for this benefit.
Note that many private lenders also offer deferred payment for active military personnel. If you have a private student loan, it’s a good idea to check with your lender to see if this is part of the benefits they offer.
Note that thanks to the Heroes Act exemption, even active-duty military personnel with income-based reimbursement plans are not required to fill out an annual form to prove their service. So even if your income increases, your monthly payments may stay the same until your service ends.
The National Defense Student Loan Discharge (NDSLD) is only available to borrowers with a National Defense Student Loan or Perkins Loan.
If you meet at least one of these conditions, you may be eligible for a partial remission of your student loan. You must also have served at least one full year in an area where enemy fire or imminent danger existed.
Due to the limited number of student loans that can be accepted, NDSLD denials are common. However, if you think you may be eligible, you can apply by sending a copy of your DD Form 214 to your service provider.
If you suffered a permanent disability during your military service, the Department of Education may waive all of your student loans under the Permanent Total Disability (PDD) waiver program.
To qualify for the program, you must be able to provide documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA letter must state that you are either disabled by service, which means 100% disability, or totally disabled, which is based on an individual disability rating.
Below is a complete list of specific military tuition reimbursement programs for the Army, Navy, and Air Force (unfortunately, the Marine Corps does not currently offer CLRP).
For each of these programs, make sure they are included in your military enrollment requirements. If your recruitment contract does not specifically mention this benefit, ask the recruiter to add it before you agree to sign the contract.
The Army College Student Loan Repayment Program provides up to $65,000 (after taxes) to eligible military personnel. You must achieve a score of 50 or higher on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) exam. To be eligible for the program, you must also serve in the appropriate MOS.
For three years, the Army pays 33.3% of your outstanding student loan or $1,500, whichever is greater. Soldiers must agree to serve three years or more.
The Army Reserve’s student loan repayment program pays up to $20,000 on a servicemember’s student loans. You must score 50 or higher on the ASVAB test and serve in the appropriate MOD to be eligible for the program.
The Army pays 15 percent of the loan balance or $1,500, whichever is greater. In addition, members of the armed forces must make a commitment for at least six years.
The National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program allows up to $20,000 to be repaid on a servicemember’s student loans. To qualify for the ASVAB program, you must score 50 points or more. You must also serve in the appropriate MOS.
The Army pays 15 percent of the loan balance or $1,500, whichever is greater. And the National Guard will pay that amount for each year of service.
The Navy Student Loan Repayment (NSLR) program offers up to $65,000 in student loan repayment. To qualify for the Deferred Entry Program, seafarers must report for active duty and be assigned accordingly.
The Navy pays 33.3% of the student loan balance or $1,500 – whichever is greater – for three years of service. However, 25-33% of your annual LRP premium is withheld for taxes.
Unfortunately, the Air Force does not currently have a CLRP program for recruits. At one point, this program offered up to $10,000 in repaid loans (still less than the Army and Navy). But this benefit is no longer available.
However, the Air Force offers student loan repayment if you start practicing law to encourage you to become an Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG).
Attorneys serving as JAG officers are eligible for repayment of student loans up to $65,000 for up to three years. Payments may begin after the end of the first year of employment.
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If you work in the healthcare industry, you may be eligible for up to $40,000 per year in assistance through the Healthcare Professional Student Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP).
The following health professionals can participate in the program:
- Physicians with postgraduate training in family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatry or osteopathic general medicine.
- Dentists practicing general or pediatric dentistry.
- Midwives, nurse practitioners and physician assistants working in primary care.
- Registered Nurses
- Dental Hygienists
- Mental health service providers, including licensed clinical social workers, clinical psychologists and professional counselors.
You must also be willing to serve in an area of great need. If you would like to take advantage of this program, please contact your recruiter for more information.
Our soldiers have a heavy burden to carry. But fortunately, student loans are a burden you can get rid of.
Whether you have served our country in the past or are still on active duty, student duty should not burden you. There are loan forgiveness programs for military students and veterans designed just for you.
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The “army reserve student loan repayment program” is a military-specific loan forgiveness program that allows individuals to get their college education paid for by the government. The program encourages enlistment in the military and has been around since 1996.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the Navy forgive student loans?
A: The Navy will not forgive student loans because the federal government does not have this power. It is up to individual banks or lending institutions if they choose to do so.
Does military service forgive student loans?
A: The United States Armed Forces do not forgive student loans, but they are tax-free. They have a variety of repayment programs to accommodate service members with varying degrees of financial need.
How do you get your student loans forgiven in the army?
A: This is an incredibly complicated question, and I will be unable to answer it you.
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