Will the Military Pay Off Student Loans?

(Photo: Stock image.)
(Photo: Stock image.)

Dear Q&B,

My wife is thinking about joining the military. We both have a lot of school debt. Will the military pay off student loans for me and my wife?

-- Former student

Dear Student,

Wouldn't it be nice if all we had to do was join the military or marry someone who is joining or has joined and -- poof! -- all of our student loans would be gone? Sadly, that's not how it works.

Will the military pay off student loans? Yes, but not for spouses. Unfortunately, there is no military student loan forgiveness for the spouses of troops. Your best bet is to utilize the military's spouse employment help to get a job and start paying off the debt the old-fashioned way.

But military members themselves do have some student loan forgiveness options. The best-known is the military college loan repayment program (CLRP). That student loan repayment program is used as an enlistment incentive for those joining the military and is not available for commissioning officers. It has some pretty stringent requirements, and whether you qualify also depends on the type of loans you have.

Eligibility for another pair of programs depends on how long you have served and if you have deployed. Those military student loan forgiveness and discharge programs also have very specific qualification requirements.

-- Team Q&B

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