Military Corner-Repaying Student Loans Tab

Active duty military and veterans who have student loans have benefits and protections to help manage their student loan debt.

Student Loan Guidelines at Times of Military Mobilization

When you are called to active duty due to a military mobilization, there are steps you, your family member or your legal representative can take to manage your Direct and FFEL student loans.

If You Need to Withdraw from Classes

To withdraw, contact your school. The school may provide a full refund to you or provide a credit to be used toward the classes you take when you return. When you return, the school will assist in your program re-enrollment.

Loans That are in Grace Period

If your loans are in grace period, contact your loan servicer. The grace period for your student loan begins the day after you are no longer enrolled in school at least half time, and typically lasts for six months. Your grace period can be extended for up to three years during the time you are on active duty, until you re-enroll in classes.

Loans in Repayment

  • Forbearance – You, a member of your family, or your legal representative should contact your loan servicer. You are eligible for a 15-month forbearance due to a military mobilization. During a forbearance period, no payments need to be made on your student loan. Interest that accrues on your loan during this period will be capitalized (added to the principal of the loan) unless you make arrangements with your loan servicer to make interest-only payments.
  • Deferment - All borrowers who serve on active duty are eligible for a military deferment. If you qualify for a military deferment, the government will pay interest accruing on your subsidized loan. Contact your loan servicer for details.

Military Service Deferment
A Military Service Deferment is available while you are serving on active duty during a war or other military operation, or national emergency, or performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation, or national emergency, if you were serving on or after October 1, 2007, for an additional 180-day period following the demobilization date for the qualifying service.

If you have Direct or FFEL Loans, complete and return the Military Service Deferment request form.

Post Active Service Student Deferment
If you are a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces (current or retired), and called or ordered to active duty while enrolled at least half time at an eligible school, or within six months of having been enrolled at least half time, you may be eligible for Post Active Service Student Deferment. You may be eligible for deferment during the 13 months following the conclusion of the active duty service, or until you return to enrolled student status on at least half-time basis, whichever is earlier.

If you have Direct or FFEL Loans, complete and return the Post Active Service Student Deferment request form.

Income-Based Repayment Plans

Depending on when and the type of federal student loan you have, you may qualify for reduced loan payments based on your income and family size. Learn more.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

SCRA reduces interest rates on federal and private student loans to six percent during active-duty service on pre-service loan obligations. Borrowers must submit interest rate reduction request in writing to loan servicer and provide copy of military orders calling into active duty. Learn more.

Loan Forgiveness, Repayment, Cancellation and Discharge

Under certain circumstances, eligible federal student loans may be forgiven, cancelled or discharged with qualifying military service. Learn more.

Loans in Default

If your student loans are in default, you or a member of your family should contact your loan servicer. Collection activities will stop during your active duty service. Find out who services your student loans by visiting the National Student Loan Data Service (NSLDS) website.

If you have questions regarding a FFEL student loan, contact the Office of Counsel and Regulatory Compliance by phone: 888-NYSHESC (888-697-4372) or by e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For questions regarding Direct Loans, contact the U.S. Department of Education at 800-4-FEDAID.


Below is an overview of programs and special protections for active-duty service members with student loans.
Loan Type OptionBenefitRequirements to Receive
Federal 0% Interest
  • While serving in a hostile area that qualifies for special pay, 0% interest rate on Federal Direct Loans for up to 60 months
  • Provide loan servicer with proof of deployment in hostile area and proof of hostile or imminent danger pay
Federal Income-Driven Repayment Plans

  • Can reduce monthly payments based on income and family size
  • After 20-25 years of payments, remaining balance forgiven
  • Must apply and provide   documentation to loan servicer
  • May need to “consolidate” older loans into a qualifying federal loan first
Federal HEROES Act Waiver
  • Waiver of documentation requirements for federal student loan benefits, such as recertification of income for income-driven repayment plan, during active duty
  • Provide military orders to loan servicer
Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
  • Forgives any remaining balance of Federal Direct Loans after 120 “qualifying” monthly payments
  • Must maintain full-time employment with a “public service” employer when each payment is made
  • Must submit “Employment Certification Form" to loan servicer”
  • May need to “consolidate” older loans into a qualifying federal loan first
Federal Annual Principal Reduction for Perkins Loans (Perkins)
  • Reduces a portion of principal for each year of service
  • Must serve for 365 consecutive days in an “area of hostility”
  • Must apply and provide documentation to servicer
Federal and Private

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

  • Reduces interest rate to six percent during active-duty service on pre-service obligations

  • Must submit request in writing to servicer & provide copy of military orders calling onto active duty
Federal Department of Defense (DOD) Repayment of Your Loans
  • In certain circumstances, as determined by DOD, all or a portion of your student loans may be repaid by the DOD
  • Contact your designated Military Personnel Officer or representative for application process details


Military Service Deferment

  • Defers monthly payments during certain active duty service
  • Interest may accrue, depending on loan type
  • Must be serving on active duty or on full-time National Guard duty during a war/other military operation/national emergency
  • Must submit "Military Service and Post-Active Duty Student Deferment Request Form" to servicer
Federal Deferments After Active Duty
  • Postponement of repayment for service members preparing to return to school after active duty
  • Submit "Military Service and Post-Active Duty Student Deferment Request Form" and provide copy of military orders to loan servicer
Federal Veterans Total and Permanent Disability Discharge
  • Discharge of federal student loans for veterans with a service-connected disability
  • Provide loan servicer with documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs verifying that you have a service-connected disability
  • Submit "Total and Permanent Disability Request Form" to loan servicer
Private Deferment and Forbearances
  • Varies depending on lender
  • May not suspend interest accrual
  • May vary depending on lender