Military Student Loan Forgiveness: Know Your Options

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Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as “Credible.”

While serving in the military is an honor, it also often requires sacrifice, such as giving up time with family and friends or putting your education on hold.

Thankfully, there are numerous benefits available that can assist service members with the student loans they might take on to attend school — including some that offer student loan forgiveness for military members.

If you served in the military, it’s a good idea to take advantage of any programs you might be eligible for that will reduce or forgive your student loan debt.

Here’s what you should know about student loan forgiveness for the military:

Military student loan repayment assistance programs

Here are several programs that could help you more easily manage your student loans:

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act interest rate cap

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) was designed to ease financial burdens for active service members. Under this law, borrowers who took out federal or private student loans before their military service can have their interest rates capped at 6%.

Program offerings

  • Interest rates on pre-service loans capped at 6%

Requirements

  • Must be actively serving in the military
  • Must have federal student loans that were taken out before Aug. 14, 2008 (federal loans consolidated after this date might not be eligible)
  • Must provide a copy of your orders calling you to active duty for private student loan lenders

0% interest plan

Under the 0% interest program, active-duty military members serving in hostile areas don’t have to pay interest on their eligible federal Direct Loans for up to five years.

Program offerings

  • 0% interest on eligible federal Direct Loans for up to five years

Requirements

  • Must provide proof of deployment in a hostile environment

HEROES Act waiver

Under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities For Students (HEROES) Act, several of the documentation requirements for federal programs are waived by the Department of Education for active-duty military members.

For example, you don’t have to worry about recertifying your income if you’re on an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan.

Program offerings

  • Waives documentation requirements for many federal student loan benefits

Requirements

  • Generally must provide military orders (if your servicer is aware of your active-duty status, it will apply the waiver itself)

Prior Service Soldier Loan Repayment Program

The Prior Service Soldier Loan Repayment Program is available to those serving in the Army Reserves who have also previously served in the military. Under this program, you could have up to $50,000 of your federal student loans repaid.

Program offerings

  • Up to $50,000 to repay federal student loans

Requirements

  • Must have served one year or more in a hostile area

Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps Student Loan Repayment Program

Under the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps Student Loan Repayment Program (JA-SLRP), eligible JAGs could qualify to have up to $65,000 of their eligible student loans repaid over three years.

Program offerings

  • Up to $65,000 of repayment assistance for eligible federal student loans

Requirements

  • Must be an active-duty Air Force officer
  • Must agree to serve as a JAG for at least four years (and qualify to do so)
  • Must not be eligible for Judge Advocate Continuation Pay or other bonuses during the qualifying year of service
  • Must have eligible federal student loans

Army College Loan Repayment Program

With the Army College Loan Repayment Program (LRP), student loan borrowers who serve for at least three years in the Army might qualify to have up to $65,000 of their eligible student loans repaid over three years.

Program offerings

  • Up to $65,000 of repayment assistance for eligible federal student loans

Requirements

  • Must agree to at least three years of service
  • Must sign up for the LRP during the enlistment process
  • Must decline enrollment in the Montgomery GI Bill
  • Must be a non-prior service accession
  • Must have a high school diploma or higher on the Armed Forces Qualification Test
  • Must enlist in a critical Military Occupation Specialty
  • Must have eligible federal student loans

Navy Student Loan Repayment Program

If you’re serving in the Navy, you could qualify for the Navy Student Loan Repayment Program during your first three years of active service. Under this program, you could have up to $65,000 of eligible federal Direct Loans repaid.

Program offerings

  • Up to $65,000 of repayment assistance for eligible federal Direct Loans

Requirements

  • Must enroll at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) before your service
  • Must have eligible federal student loans

National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program

The National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) offers to repay up to $50,000 of eligible federal student loans for those who agree to serve for at least six years. Keep in mind that non-prior service, prior service, and current Soldiers might qualify for this program.

Program offerings

  • Up to $50,000 of repayment assistance for eligible federal student loans

Requirements

  • Must enlist for at least a six-year service term (or extend your term by six years)
  • Must have qualifying federal student loans

Tip: Requirements for the National Guard SLRP vary depending on when you enlisted for service. Be sure to contact your recruiter, state point of contact, or education services officer for more information.

Military student loan forgiveness and discharge programs

There are also several student loan forgiveness and discharge programs available to military members, including:

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you work for an eligible nonprofit or government organization and make qualifying payments on your federal student loans for 10 years, you might qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Keep in mind that military service is also considered eligible employment for PSLF.

Program offerings

  • Forgiveness of remaining Federal Direct Loan balance after making qualifying payments for 10 years

Requirements

  • Must be employed full time for an eligible nonprofit or government organization (including military service)
  • Must make qualifying payments for 10 years
  • Must submit an Employment Certification Form

Veterans Total and Permanent Disability discharge

Military veterans with a service-related disability might qualify for a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge of their federal student loans. Some private student loans also offer this discharge — be sure to contact your lender to see if it’s available to you.

Program offerings

  • Discharge of federal and some private student loans if you have a service-related disability.

Requirements

  • Must submit TPD request form
  • Must provide documentation from Veterans Affairs verifying your service-related disability

National Defense Student Loan Discharge

If you served in an area that qualified you for imminent-danger or hostile-fire pay, you could be eligible for the National Defense Student Loan Discharge. With this program, 50% to 100% of your federal Perkins Loan balance could be canceled, depending on when your service took place.

Program offerings

  • Up to 50% discharge if your service ended before Aug. 14, 2008
  • Up to 100% discharge if your service ended after Aug. 14, 2008

Requirements:

  • Must have completed one full year of military service
  • Must have Perkins Loans

Learn More: What Is a Student Loan Grace Period?

Alternative options for military loan repayment

There are also other options available that could help military members repay their student loans. Here are a few alternatives to consider:

Student loan deferment

This option allows you to temporarily pause your student loan payments. For service members, federal student loan deferment is available during certain periods of active duty as well as immediately following your active-duty service.

Some private student loan lenders also offer deferment for active-duty military. If you have private loans, be sure to contact your lender to see what options are available to you.

To apply for student loan deferment:

  1. Contact your loan servicer or lender (or visit their website) for a deferment application
  2. Complete and submit the application along with required documentation (such as a copy of your active-duty military orders)
  3. Continue your loan payments while waiting to hear back
  4. If approved, be sure to reapply or recertify if needed to maintain your deferment

Check Out: How to Get Student Loan Repayment Help

Federal repayment programs

In addition to the standard 10-year repayment plan, federal student loans offer several repayment options that could help you more easily manage your loans, such as:

Graduated repayment plan

On this type of plan, your payments start low and increase every two years. A graduated repayment plan could be helpful if you expect your income to rise over time.

Extended repayment plan

This option allows you to extend your repayment term up to 25 years, which could reduce your monthly payments. You can choose between a standard extended plan that comes with fixed monthly payments or an extended graduated repayment plan that will start with low monthly payments that increase every two years.

Keep in mind that by extending your repayment term, you’ll pay more in interest over time.

Income-driven repayment

On an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan, your payments will be based on your income — usually capped at 10% to 20% of your discretionary income. Additionally, you could have any remaining balance forgiven after 20 to 25 years, depending on the plan.

The four main IDR plans include:

Learn More: PAYE vs. REPAYE: Which Repayment Plan Is Right for You?

Refinance student loans

Another potential option is refinancing your student loans. Through refinancing, you can consolidate multiple student loans — leaving you with just one loan and payment to worry about.

If you’re a service member, you might opt to refinance if you:

  • Can get a lower interest rate: Depending on your credit, you might qualify for a lower interest rate than what you currently have. Many lenders offer lower interest rates than the 6% the SCRA guarantees you. This could save you money on interest charges and even potentially help you pay off your loans faster.
  • Need a lower payment: If you opt to extend your repayment term through refinancing, you could reduce your monthly payments and lessen the strain on your budget. Just remember that this also means you’ll pay more in interest over time.
  • Have multiple student loans: Managing several loans with different interest rates and payments can be difficult. Refinancing lets you combine some or all of your student loans into just one loan with a single monthly payment.

If you decide to refinance your student loans, be sure to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for your needs. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the table below in two minutes.

Lender Fixed rates from (APR) Variable rates from (APR) Loan terms (years) Loan amounts


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

4.54%+ N/A 10, 15, 20 $7,500 up to up to $200,000
(larger balances require special approval)
  • Fixed APR:
    4.54%+
  • Variable APR:
    N/A
  • Min. credit score:
    Does not disclose
  • Loan amount:
    $7,500 up to $500,000
  • Loan terms (years):
    10, 15, 20
  • Max. undergraduate loan balance:
    $250,000 – $500,000
  • Time to fund:
    4 months
  • Repayment options:
    Immediate repayment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
  • Fees:
    None
  • Discounts:
    Autopay
  • Eligibility:
    Must be a resident of Kentucky
  • Customer service:
    Phone
  • Soft credit check:
    No
  • Cosigner release:
    After 36 months
  • Loan servicer:
    Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation
  • Max. graduate loan balance:
    $250,000 – $500,000
  • Credible Review:
    Advantage Education Loan review
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing :
    Yes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

2.15%+ 1.87%+ 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 $10,000 up to $250,000
(depending on degree)
  • Fixed APR:
    2.15%+
  • Variable APR:
    N/A
  • Min. credit score:
    Does not disclose
  • Loan amount:
    $10,000 to $400,000
  • Loan terms (years):
    5, 7, 10, 15, 20
  • Repayment options:
    Military deferment, forbearance
  • Fees:
    Late fee
  • Discounts:
    Autopay
  • Eligibility:
    Must have a credit score of at least 720, a minimum income of $60,000, and must be a resident of Texas
  • Customer service:
    Email, phone
  • Soft credit check:
    Does not disclose
  • Cosigner release:
    No
  • Loan servicer:
    Firstmark Services
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
    $100,000 – $149,000
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
    $200,000 – $400,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
    Does not disclose


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

2.39%+<sup1 1.87%+1 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 $10,000 to $500,000
(depending on degree and loan type)
  • Fixed APR:
    2.39%+<sup1
  • Variable APR:
    1.87%+1
  • Min. credit score:
    Does not disclose
  • Loan amount:
    $10,000 to $750,000
  • Loan terms (years):
    5, 7, 10, 15, 20
  • Repayment options:
    Immediate repayment, academic deferment, military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
  • Fees:
    Late fee
  • Discounts:
    Autopay, loyalty
  • Eligibility:
    Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have at least $10,000 in student loans
  • Customer service:
    Email, phone, chat
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Cosigner release:
    After 24 to 36 months
  • Loan servicer:
    Firstmark Services
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
    $100,000 to $149,000
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
    Less than $150,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
    Yes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

2.99%+2 2.94%+2 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20 $5,000 to $300,000
(depending on degree type)
  • Fixed APR:
    2.99%+2
  • Variable APR:
    2.94%+2
  • Min. credit score:
    Does not disclose
  • Loan amount:
    $5,000 to $300,000
  • Loan terms (years):
    5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20
  • Repayment options:
    Military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
  • Fees:
    Late fee
  • Discounts:
    Autopay
  • Eligibility:
    All states except for ME
  • Customer service:
    Email, phone, chat
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Cosigner release:
    After 24 to 36 months
  • Loan servicer:
    College Ave Servicing LLC
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
    $100,000 to $149,000
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
    Less than $300,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
    Yes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

2.16%+ 2.11%+ 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 $5,000 to $500,000
  • Fixed rate:
    2.39%+<sup1
  • Variable rate:
    1.87%+1
  • Min. credit score:
    680
  • Loan amount:
    $5,000 to $500,000
  • Cosigner release:
    Yes
  • Loan terms (years):
    5, 7, 10, 15, 20
  • Repayment options:
    Academic deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
  • Fees:
    Late fee
  • Discounts:
    Autopay
  • Eligibility:
    Available in all states, except MS and NV
  • Customer service:
    Email, phone, chat
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Loan servicer:
    FirstMark
  • Max. undergraduate loan balance:
    $500,000
  • Max. graduate loan balance:
    $500,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS refinancing:
    Yes
  • Min. income:
    $65,000 (for 15- and 20-year products)


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

3.91%+5 1.81%+5 5, 10, 15, 20 $1,000 to $250,000
  • Fixed APR:
    3.91%+5
  • Variable APR:
    1.81%+5
  • Min. credit score:
    700
  • Loan amount:
    $7,500 to $200,000
  • Loan terms (years):
    5, 10, 15, 20
  • Repayment options:
    Immediate repayment, academic deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
  • Fees:
    None
  • Discounts:
    Autopay
  • Eligibility:
    Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and submit two personal references
  • Customer service:
    Email, phone
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Cosigner release:
    After 36 months
  • Loan servicer:
    Granite State Management & Resources (GSM&R)
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
    $150,000 to $249,000
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
    $150,000 to $199,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing :
    Yes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

2.58%+3 2.39%+ 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20 Minimum of $15,000
  • Fixed APR:
    2.58%+3
  • Variable APR:
    2.39%+
  • Min. credit score:
    680
  • Loan amount:
    No maximum
  • Loan terms (years):
    5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20
  • Repayment options:
    Forbearance
  • Fees:
    None
  • Discounts:
    None
  • Eligibility:
    Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have at least $15,000 in student loan debt, and have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved school
  • Customer service:
    Email, phone
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Cosigner release:
    No
  • Loan servicer:
    Mohela
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
    No maximum
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
    No maximum
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
    Yes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

3.47%+4 2.42%+ 5, 10, 15, 20 $5,000 – $250,000
  • Fixed APR:
    3.47%+4
  • Variable APR:
    2.42%+
  • Min. credit score:
    670
  • Loan amount:
    $5,000 to $250,000
  • Loan terms (years):
    5, 10, 15, 20
  • Repayment options:
    Academic deferment, military deferment, forbearance
  • Fees:
    Late fee
  • Discounts:
    Autopay
  • Eligibility:
    Must be U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Customer service:
    Email, phone, chat
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Cosigner release:
    Yes
  • Max undergraduate loan balance:
    $250,000
  • Max graduate loan balance:
    $250,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS refinancing:
    Yes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

2.74%+7 N/A 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20 Up to $300,000
  • Fixed APR:
    2.80%+
  • Variable APR:
    N/A
  • Min. credit score:
    670
  • Loan amount:
    Up to $300,000
  • Loan terms (years):
    5, 7, 10, 15, 20
  • Time to fund:
    Usually one business day
  • Repayment options:
    Academic deferral, military deferral, forbearance, death/disability discharge
  • Fees:
    None
  • Discounts:
    Autopay
  • Eligibility:
    Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service:
    Email, phone
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Cosigner release:
    After 24 months
  • Max. undergraduate loan balance:
    $300,000
  • Max. graduate balance:
    $300,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS loans:
    Yes
  • Min. income:
    None


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

3.05%+ 3.05%+ 7, 10, 15 $10,000 up to the total amount of qualified education debt
  • Fixed APR:
    3.05%+
  • Variable APR:
    3.05%+
  • Min. credit score:
    670
  • Loan amount:
    $10,000 up to the total amount
  • Loan terms (years):
    7, 10, 15
  • Repayment options:
    Military deferment, loans discharged upon death or disability
  • Fees:
    None
  • Discounts:
    None
  • Eligibility:
    Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have at least $10,000 in student loans
  • Customer service:
    Email, phone
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Cosigner release:
    No
  • Loan servicer:
    AES
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
    No maximum
  • Max. Gradaute Loan Balance:
    No maximum
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
    Yes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

2.89%+ N/A 5, 8, 12, 15 $7,500 to $300,000
  • Fixed APR:
    2.89%+
  • Variable APR:
    N/A
  • Min. credit score:
    670
  • Loan amount:
    $7,500 to $300,000
  • Loan terms (years):
    5, 8, 12, 15
  • Repayment options:
    Does not disclose
  • Fees:
    None
  • Discounts:
    None
  • Eligibility:
    Must be a U.S. citizen and have and at least $7,500 in student loans
  • Customer service:
    Email, phone, chat
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Cosigner release:
    After 12 months
  • Loan servicer:
    PenFed
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
    $300,000
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
    $300,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
    Yes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

3.29%+ N/A 5, 10, 15 $7,500 up to $250,000
(depending on highest degree earned)
  • Fixed APR:
    3.29%+
  • Variable APR:
    N/A
  • Min. credit score:
    680
  • Loan amount:
    $7,500 to $250,000
  • Loan terms (years):
    5, 10, 15
  • Repayment options:
    Academic deferment, military deferment, forbearance, loans discharged upon death or disability
  • Fees:
    None
  • Discounts:
    Autopay
  • Eligibility:
    Available in all 50 states; must also have at least $7,500 in student loans and a minimum income of $40,000
  • Customer service:
    Email, phone
  • Soft credit check:
    Does not disclose
  • Cosigner release:
    No
  • Loan servicer:
    Rhode Island Student Loan Authority
  • Max. Undergraduate Loan Balance:
    $150,000 – $249,000
  • Max. Graduate Loan Balance:
    $200,000 – $249,000
  • Offers Parent PLUS Refinancing:
    Yes


Credible Rating


Credible lender ratings are evaluated by our editorial team with the help of our loan operations team. The rating criteria for lenders encompass 78 data points spanning interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirement transparency, repayment options, fees, discounts, customer service, cosigner options, and more. Read our full methodology.

2.74%+6 2.25%6 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 $5,000 up to the full balance of your qualified education loans
  • Fixed APR:
    2.74%+6
  • Variable APR:
    2.25%6
  • Min. credit score:
    Does not disclose
  • Loan amount:
    $5,000 up to the full balance
  • Loan terms (years):
    5, 7, 10, 15, 20
  • Repayment options:
    Academic deferment, military deferment
  • Fees:
    None
  • Discounts:
    Autopay, loyalty
  • Eligibility:
    Available in all 50 states
  • Customer service:
    Email, phone, chat
  • Soft credit check:
    Yes
  • Cosigner release:
    No
  • Max undergraduate loan balance:
    No maximum
  • Max graduate loan balance:
    No maximum
  • Offers Parent PLUS refinancing:
    Yes
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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Disclosures | 2College Ave Disclosures | 5EDvestinU Disclosures | 3 ELFI Disclosures | 4INvestEd Disclosures | 7ISL Education Lending Disclosures | 6SoFi Disclosures

Federal vs. private student loans: What’s the difference?

While federal and private student loans can both help you pay for education-related expenses, they have several differences.

  • Federal student loans are provided by the government and come with interest rates determined by Congress. To be eligible for these loans, you must have financial need and must attend an eligible institution that participates in the federal financial aid program. There are also several student loan forgiveness programs available — some of which military members might qualify for, such as PSLF.
  • Private student loans are offered by private lenders that set their rates according to market conditions. You’ll typically need good to excellent credit — or a creditworthy cosigner — to qualify for a private student loan. Unlike federal student loans, private student loans generally don’t offer any forgiveness options.

Refinancing your student loans might help you save money on federal or private student loans — though remember that refinancing federal loans will cost you access to federal benefits and protections. You can use our calculator below to see how much you could save by refinancing your student loans.


Subsidized vs. unsubsidized student loans: What’s the difference?

There are a few types of federal student loans available, including:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans: These loans are available for undergraduate students with financial need. The government pays for the interest accrued on subsidized loans while you’re in school, leaving you with a lower balance to pay off later.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans: These loans are available for both undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of financial need. Unlike with subsidized loans, you’re responsible for all of the interest that accrues on unsubsidized loans.
Does it matter if I refinanced subsidized or unsubsidized loans? If you have subsidized loans, it’s likely not a good idea to refinance while you’re still in school as you’ll become responsible for all of the interest that accrues from then on.

Additionally, remember that refinancing either subsidized or unsubsidized loans — whether you’re in school or not — will cost you access to federal benefits and protections.

Check Out: What Is Capitalized Interest on Student Loans?

What is the post-9/11 Federal GI Bill?

This bill helps service members pay for college or job training for up to 36 months. Some of the costs this bill covers include:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Housing (if attending school more than half time)
  • Books and supplies
  • Moving from a rural area to go to school

The amount of benefits you’re eligible for under the GI Bill is based on the amount of active duty you’ve had since Sept. 10, 2001.

Keep Reading: A Key Consideration When Refinancing Your Student Loans

About the author

Angela Brown

Angela Brown

Angela Brown is a personal finance and real estate authority and a contributor to Credible. Her work has appeared in Fox Business, LendingTree, 1800 Flowers, and FinanceBuzz.

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