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
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
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
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
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
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
Veterans Disability - Total and Permanent Disability
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
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
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.