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With an Honorable Discharge and 2.5 Years of Service, Will I Be Able to Use My GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q:  If I get an honorable discharge (administrative due to anxiety) and if I paid for the GI Bill with 2.5 years of service in, what are the chances I’ll get my GI Bill if I got the loan repayment program? My loan was for 11k and the Navy paid 6k so far?

A: You won’t get your GI Bill and here’s why. You can’t use the same period of service for both the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) and the GI Bill. You could get both programs on a six-year enlistment, as you incur a three-year obligation with each program.

Being the Navy is paying on your loans means you are using SLRP first and with only 2.5 years in, you have not satisfied your SLRP obligation, let alone accumulated any time toward your GI Bill.

So even if you get out with an honorable discharge, you won’t have the GI Bill to use, because you did not serve the obligated time for it (which is the second three years of your six-year enlistment.

Evidently it sounds like you paid in the $1,200 Montgomery GI Bill contribution, but if you don’t hold up you end of the bargain, by serving six years, you won’t get your GI bill benefits, nor will you get your $1,200 back.

If at all possible, my recommendation is to stay in and serve your six-year obligation. Having the Navy pay off your loans and getting the GI Bill too for serving just six years is huge. Think of the money you are throwing away if you get out now.

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