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Can My Student Loan Repayment Program Be Used to Pay Off My Wife’s Student Loans?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am in the U.S. Army Reserve. I have the Student Loan Repayment Program in my contract, although I don’t have any tuition debt. Am I still able to do anything else with the SLRP in my contract? My preference would be to transfer it to my wife, who does have tuition debt. Is this possible? If not, are there any other options with the SLRP? Thanks!

A: Actually, I’m not sure how you even got the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) if you did not have any student loans at the time you enlisted – that is one of the requirements to get the program. However if you do have the program and to answer your question, no you can’t use it to pay off your wife’s student loans.

In the SLRP requirements, it specifically states “Only loans incurred for the soldier’s education will be paid”, so that excludes using the program to pay off any student loan that was not used to directly fund your education.

And having SLRP also delays you being able to use your Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve. Also under the rules, it says that you can’t use the SLRP program and acquire GI Bill eligibility at the same time, so you are delaying being able to use your GI Bill by three years, the obligation period of the SLRP.

It is too bad that you didn’t know about these restrictions when you signed up as in reality, this benefit will not benefit you at all; in fact, it might not even be valid being you did not have any student loans when you came in.

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