If you’re looking for an easy way out of your student loan debt… this isn’t it.
But if you’re ready to make a commitment to protecting and defending your country, you may find relief through a debt forgiveness program for military.
And you’d have plenty of company since approximately 200,000 active duty members owe a collective $2.9 billion in student loan debt.
But as a service member, you have a few more options for wiping out your student loan debt than your civilian counterparts.
3 Options for Military Student Loan Forgiveness
If you’re ready to serve your country after graduating college, you have options for wiping out your student loan debt.
Although you can also qualify for other programs unrelated to your service, such as teacher student loan forgiveness or nursing school loan forgivenesswe’ll focus on the options that depend on your work in the military.
1. National Defense Student Loan Discharge (aka Perkins Loan Forgiveness)
If you served in a hostile fire or imminent danger pay area, you qualify for the National Defense Student Loan Dischargewhich is part of the Perkins loan cancellation program (the Perkins loan program ended on Sept. 30, 2017).
Loans are discharged according to the following classifications:
- Up to 50% for four years for borrowers whose active duty service ended before Aug. 14, 2008.
- Up to 100% for five years for borrowers whose active duty service includes or began on or after Aug. 14, 2008.
2. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
This is probably the most well-known forgiveness option — although “notorious” might be a better adjective for the complex and often confusing Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. However, if you’re willing to work (and wait), this program could wipe out your student loans..
To be eligible, you need to work full-time in the public sector — like the military — and owe federal student loans. It takes a minimum of 120 qualifying payments (10 years’…