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Serving Those Who Serve Our Country: A Guide to Student Loan Benefits for Military

May 22, 2014
Photo credit: Obese Seagull Productions, flickr

Photo credit: Obese Seagull Productions, flickr

At Nelnet, we are dedicated to serving those who serve our country by helping them pay for their education. This guide will help you better understand the benefits that are offered to those who serve.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Interest Rate Cap

Interest on federal student loans obtained prior to military service is limited to 6% during periods of active duty (also applies to private education loans). Late and NSF fees may be waived as part of the SCRA as well.

Military Service Deferement

Servicemembers can postpone their repayment while serving in active duty or qualifying duty in the National Guard during a war, other military operations, or national emergency.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

While they are serving, they may qualify for Direct Loan forgiveness after 120 qualifying payments after October 1, 2007.

Deferments After Active Duty

They can postpone their repayment before they return to school following their active duty.

0% Interest

While serving in hostile areas that qualify for special pay, they do not have to pay interest on Direct Loans made on or after October 1, 2008, for up to 60 months.

Income-Driven Repayment (IDR)

Under these plans, servicemembers may qualify for a low or zero payment amount, with the possibility of forgiveness on the remaining balance in the future.

HEROES Act Waiver

While in active duty, the Department of Education waives many documentation requirements attached to program benefits, such as IDR. For example, if a servicemember is unable to provide info on family size and income, their IDR monthly payment amount will be maintained.

Department of Defense (DoD) Repayment of Their Loans

In certain circumstances as determined by the DoD, some or all of their loans may be repaid by the DoD.

Veterans Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

If they have a service-connected disability, servicemembers may qualify for discharge of their federal student loans.

*Additional benefits may be available for Perkins Loans. Servicemembers should contact their school for details.


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