12 Ways Military and Veterans Can Reduce Student Loan Debt
Student loan debt can be a financial burden to the point where you feel there is no other way out than defaulting on your loans. And if you want a job in national security, default is never the answer. Not only that, leaving one of your debts in default can have lasting effects on your life, especially when there are better ways to manage that debt without default. There are different ways to manage student debt depending on whether you are in the military or a veteran.
While serving in the army
If you currently have student loan debt, joining the military can help you pay off that debt in several ways:
1. Army or National Guard
Newly enlisted personnel without previous military service are eligible for the Army Student Loan Repayment Program. The National Guard also has its own student loan repayment program.
2. Enlistment in the Army Reserve
Enrollment in the Army Reserve could qualify you for the Army Reserve College Loan Repayment Program based on choosing one of the many Military Occupational Specialties (MOS).
3. Army or Navy health professional
If you join the military or navy as a medical professional, you may be eligible for the medical professional loan repayment program.
4. Corps of the Air Force Judge Advocate General
If you join the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corp, up to $ 65,000 in student loans could be repaid over the life of your enlistment.
Joining the Navy could result in a loan reduction of $ 65,000.
6. Perkins loan and specific service
Having a Perkins loan and serving in an area of hostile fire or imminent danger for more than a year may qualify you for a loan discount of up to 50% provided your active duty has ended by the 14th. August 2008; ending on or after August 14, 2008 and up to 100% of your loan may be canceled.
After leaving the army
Depending on your income after separation from military service, you may qualify for one of the four income-based repayment plan options: REPAY, PAYE, IBR, and ICR. Moreover, there are other options that you can follow in order to get that loan canceled or paid back faster.
Under the revised Pay As You Earn repayment plan, the payment amount is typically 10% of your discretionary income. If all of your loans were taken out as an undergraduate, the loan is repaid in 20 years; for loans taken out within the framework of graduate or professional-level programs, the term is extended to 25 years.
Under the Pay As You Earn repayment plan, the payout is usually set at 10% of your discretionary income. But it will never exceed the standard amount of the standard 10 year repayment plan. The amortization period is set at 20 years.
Under the income-based repayment plan, the amount you pay depends on when the loan was taken out and whether you were a new borrower at that time or not. For new borrowers who take out a loan on or after July 1, 2014, the payment amount is typically 10% of discretionary income, but should not exceed the standard 10-year repayment plan amount. The loan is considered repaid after 20 years as a new borrower with a loan date starting July 1, 2014, and 25 years for subsequent loans made from the same date.
For the income-based repayment plan, the payback period is 25 years with the payment amount set at 20% of your discretionary income or what you would pay on a repayment plan with a fixed payment over the course of a 12-year adjusted plan based on your income.
To note: Under the standard repayment plan, the fixed payment amount is at least $ 50 per month for a maximum of 10 years for all types of loans except Direct and FFEL consolidation loans. With these types of loans, the repayment period varies depending on the loan amount.
At the lower end of the scale, with amounts up to $ 7,500, the payback is 10 years; with amounts of $ 60,000 or more, the payback period increases to 30 years. Interim loan amounts vary from payback periods of 12 years to 25 years depending on the loan amount.
5. Public service loan forgiveness program
If you work in a public service job in a nonprofit, government, or civilian position for the military for at least 30 hours per week, a loan may be canceled after 120 monthly payments.
6. Waiver of the teacher’s loan
One creative option if you have the right degree and the heart to make a difference is to teach full-time for five years in a low-income school. This choice can earn you up to $ 17,500 in student loans, but it might not put you on the right track for a job in National Security. Please note that the benefits of public service programs and teacher loan forgiveness cannot be used at the same time.
There are many different programs available for serving members and veterans that can help reduce outstanding student loans. Find out which program may be right for you.