Student Loan Forgiveness for Military Service Members and Veterans
Military student loan benefits for those in active service or veterans.
By Kathryn Knight Randolph
May 23, 2018
While there are a multitude of programs for helping military service men and women pay for college, little is known about financial help after college – specifically when it comes to student loans. Fortunately, there are several programs that active duty members and veterans alike can take advantage of as they work to pay off student loans.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Serving in the military is considered a public service; therefore, it qualifies students for the same loan forgiveness that teachers, police officers and social workers qualify for after a certain number of years of employment.
This program only applies to federal student loans. Borrowers must be employed full-time or performing military service. Additionally, they are required to make 120 on-time qualifying loan payments after October 1, 2007 while in a qualifying income driven or 10-year standard repayment plan.
Service men and women working in hostile environments that qualify them for special pay are able to take advantage of 0% interest on student loans for up to 60 months. Proof of service in a hostile area is required – which includes a certifying official’s statement, military orders or a leave and earnings statement.
HEROES Act Waiver
While serving on active duty, members of the military can waive documentation requirements attached to federal student loan benefits, which actually allows service men and women to have their monthly student loan payment amount maintained while they’re away. This benefit is limited to those on active duty.
Department of Defense (DOD) Repayment of Loans
Service members may be eligible for a complete forgiveness of their loans by the Department of Defense. Eligibility varies based on military branch and applications are available through designated Military Personnel Officers or representatives.
Veterans Total and Permanent Disability Discharge
Finally, members of the military and veterans that have a service-connected disability may qualify for a complete discharge of both federal and private student loans. To qualify, borrowers must present documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that proves the service-connected disability.
For more information, visit studentaid.ed.gov.
You can find more military affiliated resources by checking out our trusted partner, Military.com.
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