Military Student Loan Forgiveness

Joining the military has a number of benefits. Now you can get your loans forgiven with the help of your service in the military. Learn more about miliatry student loan forgiveness and the forgiveness programs available to you and lower your monthly payments.

Updated by Priya Shah on 28th August 2020

Military student loan forgiveness and repayment programs are provided to help pay debt faster. Choosing a career path as a military officer can be challenging and dangerous at the same time. It can be a life-changing decision if you are serving in the US armed forces. 

It should be noted that are a number of jobs available to help get your loans forgiven. Having an in-depth understanding of the various student loan forgiveness jobs out there is crucial to see if your job can get your loans forgiven.

You can choose a forgiveness program based on the branch of armed service you are serving. There are several reasons to join the armed forces; getting your loans forgiven is just an additional benefit.

Table of contents

Military student loan forgiveness program

Military Student Loan Forgiveness programs are for those students who have accomplished their graduation and want to serve the nation by joining the US military. The Military College Loan Repayment Program could be a reason to enlist. 

Private student loans are not eligible for forgiveness. Student loan forgiveness does not cover loan interest, which you must repay. If you are discharged before the time allotted and enlisted in different services, you may have to pay back some payments made towards the loan.

But if you want to qualify, you must have some experience before enlisting. Like every loan forgiveness program, the branch has its specific service, so it’s always best to recommend your local recruiting office to be more satisfied. Only then can you make your loan qualify for loan forgiveness programs.

Forgiveness programs on various branches

Based on the department you serve in the armed forces, you can opt for a student loan forgiveness for the military. Here is a list of programs you can choose for - 

Army student loan repayment program

In The Army Student Loan Repayment Program -- The Army pays 33.33% of the current principal balance each year, the army will pay this principal value you owe for three years.

To fulfill the eligibility, reach to local recruiters with the enrolling time period of three years and score( >50) to qualify the Armed service vocational aptitude battery.  

Note: The money can be used for paying off your federal student loans like the direct loan, FFEL, and Perkins loan(expired in September 2017 but still qualify for loan assistance). The private student loan is not eligible.

Navy student loan repayment program

They are unlike army student programs through Navy Student Loan Repayment Program. They are also issued for up to 33.33% of the current principal balance of the soldier’s federal loan annually, after the completion of one year of service.  The benefit is cap out at $10000 in the loan forgiveness where you must enlist for a minimum four-year in order to qualify the eligibility requirement.

National guard student loan repayment program 

The Navy Student Loan Repayment Program has similar benefits like that of the Army Student Loan Repayment Program. They have also issued a 33.33% of the current principal balance of the soldier’s federal loan annually.  

The benefit is capped out at $10000 in the loan forgiveness, where you must enroll for a minimum four-year to qualify the eligibility requirement.

Air force college loan repayment program

In order to qualify for the National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program, you must score 50+ in armed services. 

To enroll for an eligible job with a minimum of six years of services, you receive $65,000 with the student loan repayment assistance.

Coast guard loan repayment program

The repayment program -- Coast Guard Loan Repayment Program-- provides $30000 as federal loan forgiveness for the one qualified.

To qualify, borrowers must have a minimum contract of three years, with an amount of $10000 that is to be paid to the loan service provider.

CLRP for reserve servicemembers

This service is different from the rest, where the army and navy officers do provide up to 15% or $15000. Annually for those individuals who are qualified and enlisting for the first time must have a commitment of 6 years of service, with the benefit capped at $20000. 

Health professions loan repayment program

This loan repayment program is for those who are actively working in medical fields, like doctors, dentists, or any other qualifying health professionals that are interested in the army reserve. They can go for the Health Professions Loan Repayment Program as an alternative for federal loan repayment. Borrowers who are qualified receive $40000 per year for three years of service. Reach your local recruiter for more information before you enlist. 

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

This Servicemembers, Civil Relief Act, is a scheme of reducing and unburdening your loan by interest loan of 6%, where our monthly payments are lowered to $222. That results in savings of $ 3112 over a period of 10 years.

And the important thing is it is not just for a student loan but also includes car loans, credit card bills, and mortgage. We can apply those savings as extra payments on the loan that will be cut for full-year from our repayment plan.


  • Applying member and his cosigner should qualify the interest rate cap

  • It applies to both federal and private loan 

Ways to apply

  1. It can be processed by submitting a copy to your loan servicer or by requesting verification through an authorized military database

  2. Your loan must be recent than august 14, 2008 

Military student loan discharge programs

What's better than reducing your monthly installments and payments or interest rates? Loan repayment assistance helps you pay off your loan. 

The veteran’s total and permanent disability (TPD) Discharge

Veterans are persons with considerable experience in any field. If they get any injuries during their practical term of service and have caused permanent disability, those can apply for the student loan discharge through the veteran’s TDP discharge program.

That specifies that total student loan forgiveness for the military for the federal loan who cannot pay or are not able to pay the loan back. 


  • The injury must be proven that it was sustained during the term of service of the US military.

  • Must ensure that  TDP should prevent from being employed.

  • Must be able to earn the income needed for loan repayment.

How to apply

  1. The family member should reach out US Department of Education and submit the application.

  2. Documents on your TDP and the preventions need to be submitted, with the application. 

National defense student loan discharge(NDSLD)

Before you work for any company you sign an agreement of terms of service either that may be for armed forces or any service company, after the completion of your time period of service and if you spend one extra year of service, then you may qualify for the national defense student loan discharge program. This shows the eligibility for the student.

The amount of the discharge can vary as per terms and conditions.


  • Service members are only designated to provide a federal student loan.

  • Must have served for one year or more.

  • Servicing must be in a deemed imminent danger or indirect fire

How to apply

  1. Submit the form from the department of defense the letter to your student loan servicer.

  2. Must include an explanation of the service, the time spent, and the reasons.