Military Student Loan Benefits

There are a number of military loan benefits one can avail. Check some of these benefits, learn some useful tips which can be used by an active duty army personnel

Updated by Priya Shah on 25th August 2020

Student loan debt is a pervasive problem for students. Military Student Loan Benefits are given to the members of the armed forces, which helps them to repay the amount of debt and loan they have to get rid of the student loan faster. There are benefits such as the repayment options and forgiveness programs.

All the benefits of military student loans like repayment and forgiveness and few other benefit plans explained. The article describes the benefits of military student loans. 

Student loan benefits for members of the armed forces

If you are a student loan borrower and currently serving in the armed forces then here are some benefits you can avail -

Servicemembers civil relief act

In this service, members of the armed forces have an advantage of interest rate reduction. Your loan provider will reduce 6% interest on your loans during the period of active duty or on duty. 

For this student loan, the servicer will proactively check an authorized military database for your leaves. If you are listed as an active duty member, you will automatically be eligible for the loan and can apply for the benefits. You can initiate the benefits by submitting a copy of the orders, that indicate the different active duty report. 


  • Federal and private student loans

  • Disbursed before the active duty start date

  • The consolidated loans before the active-duty start date are eligible for the benefits

Military service deferment

Loans can be postponed for a specific time during active duty and immediately after the active duty. One should have completed military service and a post-active-duty student deferment request form. A written statement must be provided with the borrowers’ section in the deferment form. There must be a verbal request from you and your representative for clarification if the documentation cannot be submitted for the initial stage of the first twelve months.


  • Federal and some private loans

  • Offered to active-duty military service during a war, other military services during the war and operations

  • It is specially assigned to duty stations other than regular stations

  • The eligibility for deferment is not taken for the period of training or attending service school

Deferments after active duty

According to deferments, after active duty, we can postpone our repayment while we prepare to return to school during the active duty. The essential requirement is --to be in the military service and the (student-deferment request form) should be submitted with the borrower section of the deferment request form and a copy of the military orders. 


  • Federal - FFEL, Direct and Perkins loans

  • Must be in other military service or national emergency service during the war

Public service loan forgiveness

After certain payments, i.e., 120 payments, you may qualify for forgiveness for the remaining balance of your federal student loan. The basic requirement for the public service loan forgiveness is the submission of an employment certification form to check the eligibility.


  • Federal student loan only

  • Successful 120 on-time payments in a qualifying income-driven or ten years of the standard repayment plan

Zero percent interest

This 0% benefit applies to only those who work for the hostile area and are qualified for those special pays, where you do not have to pay interest for the next 60 months. They have specific requirements like --  

They have to give proof of deployment in a hostile area, which includes a certifying official’s statements and signature. 

Also, have military orders showing your service in a hostile area, that may include leave and earnings statements showing you are receiving hostile or imminent danger pay.


  • The federal loan must be applied on and after October 1, 2008

  • Some part of the direct consolidation loan is that -- it represents loans applied on or after October 1, 2008

Income-driven repayment plan

The income-driven repayment plan is based on your monthly income. According to your income, you can make repayment towards your federal student loans. This plan has specific eligibility criteria to satisfy, under this plan, you may qualify for the zero or very low repayment amount with the possibility of forgiveness of the amount leftover. The requirement for the income-driven repayment plan is just the plan request form and documentation of income.  


  • It is based on your income and the type of loans. To check the eligibility contact the loan servicer

  • A private loan is not eligible for this plan, contact the loan servicer to avail more options

HEROES Act waiver

If you are in an income-driven repayment plan and military service, interest rates are set based on the family size and requirements. The requirements for the HEROES Act waiver is that you must have been actively serving in the military to have chances for qualifying the waiver. 

Eligibility - Must be in active duty in the military service during the war, or other operations.

Department of Defense (dod) repayment of your loans

According to some circumstances determined by DOD, some portions of the student loans are payable (repaid by the DOD). The requirement for the department of defense repayment of the loans is that -- you need to contact your designated military personnel officer or representative for applications.   

Eligibility - It depends on the branch of the military you are working in.

Veterans Total and permanent disability discharge

These benefits are applicable for those who are servicing the disabled people which increases the chances of qualifying for the student loan. The requirements for this benefit -- are documentation from the U.S. Department of veterans that verify the service-connected to the disability along with the total and permanent disability request form. 

Eligibility - Federal and some private student loans are eligible.

                                       Worried about your college tuition? Learn more about student loans

Useful military student loan resources

Federal Student Aid: Most Government and non-profitable organizations offer money for college veterans, military personnel, active-duty personnel, and other resources.  So if you have a federal loan, you can learn about the options to pay the loans. For more info -

National student loan data system(NSLDS)

To find the servicer of your federal loan in the national student loan data system. Check the link below :

DOD and VA military information programs: Benefits and paying for the college loan includes any information that -

Servicemembers civil relief act (SCRA):

Financial resource center - 



Veterans Disability Discharge Program: