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Servicemembers - Educational Benefits
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Thank you to the men and women in uniform for your service and sacrifice to help protect our country. Whether you are currently serving in the military or a veteran, we want to ensure that servicemembers and their families understand the student loan benefits that are currently available to eligible servicemembers. The following information is a high-level summary of the major federal benefits and programs. Other student loan benefits may be available at the state or local level. Please contact your current lender/servicer for more detailed information, including what documentation may be required. You can find contact information for your lender/servicer at www.nslds.ed.gov.

Information regarding other educational benefits available to servicemembers is availble in the Servicemember Resources file library found at the bottom of this page.

Military Student Loan Benefits   Download Brochure

Military Service Deferment

A deferment means you will not have to make payments during the authorized deferment period. There are different deferment options depending on when you obtained your student loan. The Military Service and Post-Active Duty Student Deferment (MIL) Request and the Public Service Deferment Request (PUB) forms can be found on the Current Deferment & Forbearance Forms page of the NCHER web site. If you are not eligible for a deferment and still need to temporarily postpone your student loan payments, you may be eligible for forbearance. Interest continues to accrue during a period of forbearance (and during a period of deferment on an unsubsidized loan) and will be added (capitalized) to the principal balance of your loan. Contact your lender/servicer for more details regarding deferments and forbearance.

 

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

Servicemembers must request this benefit to ensure that the interest rate on any loan (including student loans) does not exceed 6% per year while the servicemember is on active duty. See the SCRA FAQ in the Servicemember Resources file library below.

 

Direct Loan No Accrual Interest Benefit

For certain Direct Loans no interest will be charged for a period of no more than 60 months while serving on active duty or performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war, other military operation, or national emergency and are serving in an area of hostilities qualifying for special pay.

For more details: http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/military#limited-interest-rates-suspended-accrual-of-interest-and-deferment-of-student-loans

 

Income-Driven Repayment Plans

There are any many student loan repayment plans available to help borrowers manage their debt, including new repayment plans that are based on a borrower's income. If you cannot find a repayment plan that meets your needs, please be sure and contact your lender/servicer. An overview of Income-Driven Repayment plans available as of February 1, 2013 can be found on the Income-Driven Repayment page of the NCHER web site.

 

Federally-sponsored Student Loan Repayment Programs

The Department of Defense (DOD) and other organizations offer various student loan repayment programs, each with specific loan criteria and benefits. See the DOD matrix below for additional details.

 

Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003

These waivers and modifications to the Title IV student aid programs (including student loans) provide assistance to affected individuals who are also federal student aid applicants and recipients. See the HEROES summary below for the current waivers.

 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

If you are employed by certain public service organizations and have a Direct Loan, you could qualify for PSLF. The PSLF program was created to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on their eligible federal student loans after they have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans under certainly repayment plans while employed full-time by certain public service employers.   

For additional information: http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts/public-service

 

Veterans Disability - Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge

Veteran borrowers will be considered totally and permanently disabled for purposes of discharge of their federal student loans if they provide documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) showing they have been determined to be unemployable due to a service-connected disability.

There are two types of disability ratings granted by the VA that qualify a veteran for a discharge of a student loan and/or TEACH Grant service obligation:

  • A determination that the veteran has a service-connected disability, or service-connected disabilities, that are 100% disabling; or
  • A determination that the veteran is totally disabled based on an individual unemployability determination.

For additional information regarding a TPD discharge: http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts/disability-discharge

 

Additional Web Resources

Additional information for NCHER members is available on the Military Information - Operational page of the NCHER web site. 

Servicemember Resources

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
SCRA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) PDF (405.16 KB)  more ] Administration 8/3/2016
DOD Federal Student Loan Repayment Programs PDF (610.01 KB)  more ] Administration 2/8/2013
HEROES Waivers PDF (257.7 KB)  more ] Administration 2/8/2013
Military Education Benefits Comparison Chart DOC (107 KB)  more ] Administration 2/8/2013
Yellow Ribbon Program DOC (49.5 KB)  more ] Administration 2/8/2013
Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty DOC (39 KB)  more ] Administration 2/8/2013
Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve Duty DOC (36 KB)  more ] Administration 2/8/2013
Post-9/11 GI Bill: Transferability DOC (43.5 KB)  more ] Administration 2/8/2013
REAP Program: Questions and Answers DOC (52.5 KB)  more ] Administration 2/8/2013
Survivor’s & Dependent Educational Assist. Program DOC (33.5 KB)  more ] Administration 2/8/2013
In-State Tuition for Military Members & Families DOC (36 KB)  more ] Administration 2/8/2013
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