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How Do I Pay Off My Wife’s Student Loans With My GI Bill Benefits?

Q: I have recently separated from the military and would like to know if I can transfer some of my benefits to my wife. I would do this to pay off student loans that she has.

Sorry, but you can’t do that for a couple of reasons. One is now that you are out, you can’t transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to her. That has to be done while you are still active.

Two, from your question, it doesn’t sound like you understand how the GI Bill works. The VA doesn’t just send you a big chuck of money to use as you wish; your wife would have to go to school to use her transferred benefits and she would get her money over the course of 36 months, or as long as she went to school if it was less than 36 months.

The way the Post 9/11 GI Bill works, is once she is registered for school, the VA would pay her tuition and fees directly to her school. She would have get a monthly housing and book stipend.

The Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is offered initially when you come into the military, in lieu of the GI Bill as you can’t have both for the same period of time. Sometimes it is also offered as an re-enlistment incentive, if you first chose the GI Bill and are past the three-year obligatory period for it. Then you could have signed up for SLRP. Even with that program, they don’t pay off your loans all at once; it is spread out over the term of your enlistment. And it would not have helped pay off your wife’s loans – just yours.

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