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.
For questions regarding Direct Loans, contact the U.S. Department of Education at 800-4-FEDAID.
BENEFITS FOR SERVICEMEMBERS WITH STUDENT LOANSBelow is an overview of programs and special protections for active-duty service members with student loans.
|Loan Type||Option||Benefit||Requirements to Receive|
|Federal||Income-Driven Repayment Plans
|Federal||HEROES Act Waiver||
|Federal||Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)||Forgives any remaining balance of Federal Direct Loans after 120 “qualifying” monthly payments||
|Federal||Annual Principal Reduction for Perkins Loans (Perkins)||Reduces a portion of principal for each year of service||
|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||
Military Service Deferment
|Federal||Deferments After Active Duty||
|Federal||Veterans Total and Permanent Disability Discharge||
|Private||Deferment and Forbearances||
||May vary depending on lender|