Loan programs for veterans are often provided in the form of loan repayment. Veterans apply for tuition loans just like everyone else and may opt for federal or private sources. However, these loans may then be supplemented by government organizations, ultimately forgiving all or a portion of the loan amount. To qualify for these types of loans, a veteran typically must have been in active military service for at least 36 months or have been honorably discharged.
Most veteran loan programs require a minimum amount of active duty. The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill requires at least 36 months, and other programs vary. Veterans will need to file proof of education and loan amounts with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Loan forgiveness may take time to process, so students should be prepared to manage the repayment of their education until the forgiveness periods go into effect.
Repaying a Student Veteran Loan
Repayment of veteran student loans should ultimately be handled by the VA. However, due to particular eligibility requirements and the time it takes to process loan applications, veterans often end up repaying parts of their loans before a loan repayment from the government is carried through. It’s important for students to consider their education costs, just as they would if they were paying for school on their own, and make sure repayment of tuition will fall within their personal budget. The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill will cover up to $60,000 in total loan repayment, so it’s important to make sure your schooling costs do not exceed this amount.
Types of Veteran Student Loans
- Leave No Veteran Behind Leave No Veteran Behind is a non-profit organization offering veteran student loan repayment by doling out donation funds. The programs were created in response to areas where the G.I. Bill had proven lacking.
- Post 9/11 G.I. Bill: This loan repayment program is specifically designed to supplement the cost of veteran student loans. It forgives all resident tuition and fees for public colleges and universities. Veterans must have served in the armed forces for at least 36 months.
- Non-College Degree Program: This loan repayment program covers costs of non-degree programs, such as truck driving, HVAC Certification, and EMT certification.
- Stafford Loan: The Stafford loan is available to all U.S. students, but veterans may want to look into federal loans such as the Stafford to capitalize on the low interest rates and make sure that they are receiving federal funding, which may make the process of repayment easier.