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If I Have the Student Loan Repayment Program, Why Can’t I Get a Loan?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have SLP in my contract but can’t find anyone to give me a loan. Can I get a loan from the bank and the Army will still pay it back?

A: Somehow you got some bad information. You only have the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) if you have existing and qualifying student loans at the time you enlisted. The way you worded your question, it sounds as if you currently don’t have any student loans, so you don’t have SLRP.

And what do you want a loan for? If it is for education, why not use the Army’s Tuition Assistance program instead. They will pay up to $250 per credit with a $4,500 annual cap that would allow you to take 18 credits a year. That way you don’t have a loan to worry about repaying back.

Somehow, I get the feeling you don’t want a loan to go to school. In that case, you are on your own, because even if you do have SLRP, it doesn’t pay off any non-education loans and certainly not any loan you have taken out after you enlisted.

Nor does it pay off all loans you had when you enlisted. Only certain types of loans qualify for SLRP, such as a loan made, insured, or guaranteed under the Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part B, D, or E prior to entering active duty.

If you actually do have the SLRP in your contract but did not have any education loans when you enlisted, then someone made a mistake.

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