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Can I Use My Post 9/11 GI Bill to Pay Off a Student Loan?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have an educational loan that I’m paying for right now (I borrowed from an overseas bank as I was an International Student in the US before I joined the Army.) I just finished my paying for the MGIB this month and would like to know if I can use to Post 9/11 GI Bill to pay off the loan. Please advise. Thank you.

A: No, the Post 9/11 GI Bill (or any GI Bill for that matter) can’t be used to directly pay off student loans. If you just finished paying your $1,200 Montgomery GI Bill contribution, then you have only been in the Army for around 12 months. With that little amount of time, you would only be at the 60% Post 9/11 GI Bill tier level.

One option though is if you stay for three years, you would be at the 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill level. Once you convert to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and use up your 36 months of benefits, you will get your $1,200 MGIB contribution back, which you could then use toward paying off your loan. Until then, you would have to make at least some type of minimum payment so the loan doesn’t go into default.

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