Does The Military Pay Off Student Loans? Your Questions Answered

Millions of Americans have student loan debt. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York states the amount has risen to over $1.6 trillion by the end of 2022. While education is important to secure well-paying jobs, many Americans find themselves deep in debt. This is why plenty of eligible Americans sign up for the military. Enlisting in military service has plenty of perks, including educational benefits.

Does The Military Pay Off Student Loans?

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The short answer is yes, the military might be able to help you pay off your student loans. However, it depends on several factors. The forgiveness value depends on how much student debt you’ve incurred, the type of student loan you’ve taken out, and whether you intend to enlist in the military on a full-time or part-time basis.

You don’t have to be an active Armed Forces member to enjoy military student loan forgiveness. Some programs for veterans range from partial forgiveness after ten years of public service employment to full discharge after total and permanent disability discharge due to their service.

What Are The Student Loan Forgiveness Programs For Military Members?

Military College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP)

Veterans and active duty service members have access to a range of college loan repayment programs from the military. The eligibility requirements depend on which military branch you serve and the loans you currently hold. College loan repayment programs are available to individuals serving in the Army, Navy, National Guard, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps Loan Repayment Program

Air Force members enrolled in a law program can get assistance up to $65,000 in student loans. Once you’re a Judge Advocate General’s Corps member, you are eligible to receive student loan help for up to three years.

Army Student Loan Repayment: Active Duty

Under the Army Student Loan Repayment program, active duty military personnel can get up to $65,000 in student loans. Through this particular program, the US Army will pay up to a third of your student loan balance annually for a maximum of three years. However, this loan program doesn’t apply to private student loans.

Navy Student Loan Repayment Program

Navy service members can receive up to $65,000 in student loan payment assistance. If you qualify for this program, the US Navy will pay a third of your student loan debt for a maximum of three years.

Coast Guard Loan Repayment Program

This student loan repayment program is available for people who have served in the Coast Guard for at least three years. Eligible military members can get up to $30,000.

National Defense Student Loan Discharge

This particular student loan debt program forgives military veterans who spent at least a year in hostile fire. Borrowers must also have a Perkins Loan. The student loan cancellation amount varies for this program. But in some instances, it can cover the entire student loan balance.

National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program

This student loan repayment assistance program shoulders $50,000 of college education costs. It is available for borrowers who enlist for at least six years. However, it only applies to military members with federal student loans.

Health Professions Loan Repayment Program

This loan repayment program offers up to $120,000 college education assistance to healthcare professionals on active duty or in the Army Reserve. This particular program offers a maximum of $40,000 annually for up to three years to qualifying borrowers.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is exclusively available to public service employees. It provides full student loan repayment assistance for qualified applicants. However, you must meet the required number of payments in your student loans. The number is set to 120 payments while serving a full-time duty in the military or another qualifying non-profit entity

Prior Service Soldier Loan Repayment Program

Army Reserve soldiers with previous military service can get student loan repayment assistance amounting to $50,000. Your military record should reflect your active duty service for you to be eligible for this program.

Veterans Total And Permanent Disability Discharge

In the event of a service-related disability, you can submit a loan application to the Veterans Total and Permanent Disability Discharge program. To qualify, obtain a service-related medical issue document issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Interest Rate Cap

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act or SCRA can make repaying student debt more manageable while you’re on active duty. This law reduces the interest rate on any loans you took out before enlisting in the military to 6%. Although this law doesn’t forgive student loans, it reduces the amount you’ll have to play while you’re serving.

What Is The Difference Between Student Loan Payoff And Student Loan Forbearance Or Forgiveness?

It is important to learn the difference between student loan payoff and student loan forgiveness or forbearance. Depending on the program you want to use, you may or not be required to pay interest on the loan during the period of deferment or forbearance.

Loan forgiveness involves forgiving or eliminating a debt or part of it. Meanwhile, a student loan payoff means you receive payments dedicated to your student loan repayment assistance.

Who Can Apply For Student Loan Forgiveness?

Both active duty service members and military veterans can submit an application for student loan forgiveness options. Military loan forgiveness programs are exclusively available to particular branches of the military. However, some special loan repayment programs are for qualifying military occupational members only. In general, most private loans don’t qualify for these programs.


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Being part of the military can grant you military loan forgiveness. However, it depends on which military branch you serve in. The US military has plenty of military student loan offers, especially for those with federal student loans.

The military has created opportunities for numerous Americans to pursue a college education. Thus, you should maximize your benefits if you enlist in active service. These include the privileges granted by the SCRA. We at Military Verification can help you ensure that you receive your military benefits. Please explore our website for more information.

Other FAQs

Can the US military pay off student loans?

Yes, the US military offers various student loan repayment programs. However, several factors may influence your eligibility. These include the amount of student debt you’ve incurred, the student loan payments you’ve taken out, and whether you’re part-time or full-time in the military.

Does the Air Force forgive student loans?

Yes. If you’re part of the Air Force, you’re eligible for various student loan repayment programs. These include the military college loan repayment program and the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps Loan Repayment Program.

How long does it take to pay off student loans?

The standard time to pay off federal student loans is ten years. However, repayment time depends on how much you’ve taken out for the loan and how much you can pay each month.

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