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Because I Choose SLRP, Will I Still Get the Full Montgomery GI Bill Entitlement After Six Years of Service?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have a question concerning the MGIB combined with the LRP. I am currently active duty under a 6-year contract. I enlisted with the loan repayment program as my enlistment guarantee. I also paid the $1,200 for the Montgomery GI Bill. I haven’t seen any other questions that have been asked about my exact situation, but I have seen similar ones. When I finish my 6-year enlistment, am I correct in assuming that only the last 3 years of my enlistment can be applied towards the Montgomery GI Bill, since the first 3 years get applied to the LRP? And does that still equal a full entitlement?

A: Your assumption is correct! When you signed up for the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), you incurred a 3-year obligation where the first three years of your service went to “pay-back” the privilege of your branch of service paying off, or at least toward, your student loans. Because that same 3-year period of service can’t be used for both SLRP and GI Bill eligibility, you did not earn any eligibility toward your GI Bill during those first three years. However starting your fourth year of service you did. The good news is after serving the additional 3 years, you are at full Montgomery GI Bill eligibility.

What you may or may not know is you also have full eligibility for the Post 9/11 GI Bill also. Under that GI Bill, you could get an additional 12 months of entitlement to use after exhausting your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) or you could convert right away and use up your 36 months of entitlement under the Post 9/11 GI Bill instead of the MGIB.

The advantage of using the Post 9/11 GI Bill right away is that in most cases, it pays more, however before selecting a GI Bill to use, do your due diligence and compare your GI Bills under the same scenario.

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