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If I Signed Up for Loan Repayment, Am I Still Eligible For the G.I. Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: When I enlisted in the military, I did not sign up for the G.I. Bill. Instead, I did the collage loan repayment program. Am I still eligible for the G.I Bill program?

A: Maybe – I don’t have enough information from your question to give you a definite yes or no, but I can give you the requirements. When you signed up for the College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP), you incurred a three-year commitment to that program. Because you can not have both the CLRP and the G.I. Bill during the same period of service, your service counting toward your eligibility for the G.I. Bill will not start until after you have three years of service.

If you are past that three-year mark and looking at the Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB), then you need to set up the $100-per-month-for-12-months pay reduction and serve an additional three years to qualify. If you are eligible for the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, then you need 90 days of service after September 10, 2001 for the minimum 40% tier and three years of service to reach the 100% tier level, however, with the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, you don’t need to make the $1,200 contribution.

If you qualify for both G.I. Bills, which bill you choose depends on your education goals. If your plans are to go to a college or university, then either Bill will work and you will have to decide which Bill will pay you more. If you plan on going to a trade school or take an OJT/Apprenticeship program, then go with the MGIB, as the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill does not pay for these programs.

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