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Can I Really Get Both the Student Loan Repayment and the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Q: I am a college graduate that has enlisted in the Navy for a 6-year contract. I have opted for the LRP to cover the $20,000 in loans I currently am indebted. The LRP allows for payments of those loans over my first 3 years of active duty. I believe after those loans are paid by the military, I am entitled to receive the Post 9/11 GI Bill and will have full benefits of the Bill if I complete my contract and am in compliance with other obligations, such as an honorable discharge. I have talked with a counselor about this who works with the LRP, however, I just want to make sure this is correct. Just as well, it is listed in my enlistment contract that I am opting to receive LRP benefits, is there anything that needs to be in my contract to cover the GI Bill? Thank you. – Kenneth

A: No Kenneth, there is not anything additional that needs to be in your enlistment contract, because you will automatically start acquiring Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility at the end of your first three years, after serving your LRP commitment.

Just so you understand the student loan program, after your first year anniversary, you will have to send in a DD Form 2475 on each qualifying loan to the Navy Recruiting Command (NRC). That form is what triggers that year’s loan payment and a step many miss when first using LRP.

Once the NRC received the form, they will pay 33 1/3% or up to $1,500 on that qualifying loan. So, at $4,500 per loan over a three year period, the Navy’s could pay off your entire $20,000 in student loans providing your entire loan is spread out over four qualifying loans.

If you have less than four qualifying loans, they would not be able to pay off the entire amount being they are limited to a maximum or $1,500 per loan per year.

For your second three years of your enlistment, you would build up enough time to fully qualify for 100% of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, except for the transfer of benefits option. To get that you would have to agree to serve an additional four years.

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