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Can I Use the Post 9/11 GI Bill to Pay for Student Loans?

Q: Can I use the Post 911 GI Bill to pay for either my or my wife’s student loans?

A: Yes and no – let me explain. Because the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) and the GI Bill are two completely separate programs, you can not directly have student loans repaid from your Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlements. As a matter-of-fact, you can’t get both the GI Bill and SLRP for the same three-year period of service; it is one or the other.

However, if you are going to school and collecting on your Post 9/11 GI Bill, there is nothing to prevent you from using your GI Bill money to pay on either your or your wife’s student loans. Under the GI Bill, the VA pays your tuition and eligible fees up to the in-state maximums. You get paid the housing allowance and book stipend.

Those two payments alone can amount to, on average, $13,000 per year, so if you don’t need that money to live on or pay for books, that could make a good dent in a student loan. If you are on either the East or West Coast, that yearly amount would more than double as the housing allowance is so much more on both the coasts. If you are somewhere in the Midwest, then the annual amount would be slightly less.

The bottom line is you have to go to school to get the money, but you can use the money for whatever you want.

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