Borrowers in the military may be eligible for a variety of benefits on their student loans.
The benefits offered to a specific borrower will depend on a number of factors, including:
- Loan type
- Deployment status
- When a given loan was borrowed
- The documentation provided
Armed Service (Military) Perkins Loans: Beginning 11/01/2007 unlimited deferment of all NDSL/Perkins loans is available to Armed Forces Reservists and National Guard personnel called to active duty, and to regular military personnel assigned to duty stations other than their normal stations, due to war, military operation, or national emergency.
For NDSL/Perkins loans made before July 1, 1993 up to 3 years of deferment is available for regular active duty in the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard.
Cancellation: For NDSL/Perkins loans made after 6/30/1993 borrowers may request deferment for a period during which they will qualify for cancellation (serving a full, consecutive 12 months in an area of hostilities that qualifies for special pay under USC 37, Sec. 310).
Click Here for a list of Hostile Fire Zones..
Armed Service (Military) HPSL/NSL/LDS Loans: Up to 3 years of deferment is available for regular active duty in the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard.
Perkins Benefit Type
Unlimited - Must be supporting the war effort (such as Iraq/Afghanistan). Duty station must have changed for active duty military.
(Contingency operations including Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom)
Obtain Deferment form.
Can be requested by borrower, or the borrower’s representative.
A copy of the borrower’s orders, DD214, or a written statement from the commanding/personnel
Loans made after 6/30/93 – serving a full, consecutive 12 months in an area of hostilities that qualifies for special pay under USC 37, Sec. 310
Obtain Cancellation Form.
More info on Cancellation.
Cancellation form signed by commanding officer.
Documentation of special pay rate, or deployment in a Hostile Fire Zone.
(Reservist and National Guard receive DD214s upon demobilization – will show time spent in eminent danger area.)
Up to one year for call to active duty.
Obtain Forbearance Form.
Based on verbal request of borrower, family or other reliable source.
Eligibility for Military Deferment:
- National emergency means by reason of certain terrorist attacks declared by the President on 9/14/01 or subsequent national emergencies declared by the President by reason of terrorist attacks.
- Individuals who are in the National Guard and assigned “border patrol” between the US and Mexico have NOT been designated a contingency operation by the Secretary of Defense.National Guard members performing service in connection with Operation Jump Start do NOT qualify for Military deferment.
- Active duty does not include training or attendance at military service school.
- The borrower’s representative can apply for a military deferment on behalf of the borrower. The borrower must be notified and given the opportunity to return to billing. (Documentation of deployment or change of duty station is still required!)
- Up to one year of forbearance for call to active duty may be granted based on verbal request of the borrower, family member, or other reliable source.
- A copy of the borrower’s orders, DD214, or a written statement from the commanding/personnel officer is sufficient.
- Deferment can be granted for the full term of the certification. Annual renewal is not needed.
- The borrower is entitled to a 6 month grace period after the deferment period.
Retroactive deferment requirements:
- In the case of a borrower who has paid off their loan in its entirety, the borrower could NOT receive a retroactive military deferment, even if the borrower was otherwise eligible.
- If the borrower qualifies for military deferment and his/her loan is past due, and the deferment does not cover any previous unpaid interest or principle amount the borrower is required to bring the account current before the deferment can be granted.
Please note that these benefits are NOT automatic. It is the borrower's responsibility to apply for and renew them in a proper and timely manner. Borrowers in the military are STRONGLY encouraged to plan and prepare ahead of any deployment. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss military benefits, and the impact military deployment will have on your student loans. Borrowers are reminded to maintain valid contact information with our office, and any other student lenders they may have.
Additional Notes on Military Benefits:
- Payment is not required while you are in deferment prior to cancellation.
- If you make any payments while you are eligible for partial cancellation, the amount paid cannot be refunded to you.
- Military Cancellation/Cancellation Deferment request forms are completed on an annual basis. Cancellation forms must be certified by the commanding officer.
- Cancellation is separate from Military Loan Repayment.If you are Forbearance, interest continues to accrue.
- Past due Bursar's balances, Stafford, PLUS, HHS, Institutional, and Alternative loans generally do not qualify for cancellation for military service.
To discuss the types of benefits for which you may be eligible, write or call the Office of Student Loan Accounts & Collections.