You may be familiar with the issues that come with having a student loan. Students may find themselves saddled with debt that they may need to pay off for many years.
Thankfully, there are programs offering student loan forgiveness for veterans that can help you get out of your student loan repayment obligation. If you’re an applicable candidate, you may be able to have all or part of your debt canceled, putting you on a path towards financial freedom.
What Is Student Loan Forgiveness?
Student loan forgiveness is a program that allows you to avoid paying back some or even all of your student loans due to the circumstances of your job. A specific program, The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, helps individuals get out of their student loans by working full-time in public and government service.
The basic requirements are similar for veterans and service members to apply for student loan forgiveness:
- You must be employed full-time by the federal, state, or local governments, a nonprofit organization, or the military.
- You must have paid 120 qualifying loan installments on schedule.
Can Veterans and Service Members Get Student Loan Forgiveness?
Veterans and service members with student loans are eligible for a special student loan forgiveness program.
There are two general criteria for you to have your student loans fully forgiven:
- Veterans and service members who have served in the military for at least ten years are entitled to full forgiveness of their student loans.
- Veterans and service members who have been disabled as a result of their public service are eligible for full forgiveness of their student loans.
Student loan forgiveness for service members is not the only resolution. If you didn’t meet the standard, there are still multiple options that can help you with your student loan.
As a veteran or service member, there are several programs that you can apply for that will provide student loan assistance:
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
This program will allow your student loan’s interest rates to be capped at 6% under this law. This applies to active service members, and your schooling must have begun before joining the military, according to The United States Department of Justice.
0% Interest Plan
This program is designed for veterans or service members that were assigned to hostile and dangerous projects and locations, according to the official student aid website. You must be able to show proof and documentation if this was the case, and it only applies to Federal Direct Loans for up to five years.
Prior Service Soldier Loan Repayment Program
This program will allow up to $50,000 in federal student loans to be forgiven. Those serving in the army reserves who have previously served in the military for at least one year in hostile areas are eligible.
Army College Loan Repayment Program
If you serve in the Army for three years, you may be eligible to have up to $65,000 of your student loans forgiven. According to Credible, however, you must meet a number of requirements, including the following:
- Being an active-duty Air Force member
- You must qualify and become part of the Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG) for four years
- During your year of service to qualify for this program, you must not be eligible for other bonuses
- You must have federal student loans that qualify for this program
After graduating from college, student loans can be difficult to manage. Thankfully, there are plenty of programs out there to help veterans and servicemembers pay them off, either in full or in part.