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Military Benefits

Military personnel:
Have student loan questions?

Automated phone support available 24/7

Specialized military customer service reps are available Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., ET

After supplying your account information, select the service member option

Borrowers living abroad: Call 001-888-272-5543 (toll-free) or 001-317-570-7397

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces: What you need to know about your federal student loan benefits

ImportantInformationForMembersOfTheUSArmedForces

 
 
Military benefits

Military Benefits

Do you know that, as a member of the military, you may qualify for special benefits and repayment options? Both federal and private loans may qualify for Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) benefits. We’ve also compiled a list of federal student loan benefits for borrowers in the military, including Military Service Deferment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. In addition, Sallie Mae has created special benefits and services for our private student loans.

NOTE: You can complete some forms in one of two ways: log in to your account and have the form pre-filled with your information; or download the pdf, which you can print and fill out.

Federal student loans

Sallie Mae private student loans

Federal student loans

The following benefits are available for federal student loans.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Interest-Rate Cap

DESCRIPTION

Interest on federal student loans obtained prior to your military service is limited to 6% during periods of active duty. (If your existing interest rate is less than 6%, it will not change.) The interest-rate limitation also applies to your private education loans. Learn more about SCRA.
NOTE: HEAL loans are not eligible for this benefit.

How to get it

This benefit applies to loans that were disbursed prior to active-duty service. To be considered eligible for SCRA benefits, provide a written request and your military orders, including dates.

The preferred method for expedited processing is to upload the request and orders through your account on SallieMae.com or email your request to MilitaryBenefits@SallieMae.com.

  • Mail or fax a written request, along with a copy of your military orders, to Sallie Mae, P.O. Box 9500, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9500 (fax: 800-848-1949).
  • You can submit your request anytime during your active-duty service and up to 180 days after leaving service.

Military Service Deferment

DESCRIPTION

Active duty: You can postpone federal student loan repayment during certain periods of active duty and immediately following active duty.

Post-active duty: You may be eligible for a deferment if you’ve served on active duty on or after October 1, 2007, and were enrolled at least half time at an eligible school at the time of, or within six months prior to, being called to active duty.

How to get it

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

DESCRIPTION

You may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of your Direct Loans when you’ve made 120 qualifying payments after October 1, 2007. You must have been employed in public service, including military service, while making the qualifying payments.

How to get it

More info:
For more information, refer to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness section on the Federal Student Aid website.

0% Interest

DESCRIPTION

While you are serving in a hostile area that qualifies you for special pay, you do not have to pay interest on Direct Loans made on or after October 1, 2008, for up to 60 months.

How to get it

More info:
Mail or fax a written request, along with a copy of your military orders showing you’re on active duty (and, if applicable, that you’re serving in a war zone), to Sallie Mae, P.O. Box 9500, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9500 (fax: 800-848-1949).

Repayment Based on Income

DESCRIPTION

There are repayment plans that base your monthly payment on a federal formula that considers your income, state of residence, and family size. These plans may help you qualify for a low or zero payment amount with the possibility of forgiveness of the remaining balance in the future.

How to get it

More info:
For more information, refer to the Income-Based Plan section on the Federal Student Aid website.

HEAL Loan Deferment

DESCRIPTION

This deferment is available for up to three years to borrowers of Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL) who are members of the U.S. Armed Forces. This program was discontinued in 1998.

How to get it

Fill out form:
Log in | Download form

HEROES Act Waiver

DESCRIPTION

While you are on active duty, the Department of Education waives many documentation requirements attached to program benefits. For example, if you are on a payment plan based on your income, and military service prevents you from providing updated information on your family size and income, you can request that your current plan is maintained.

How to get it

More info:
Contact Sallie Mae and inform them that you are in the military. Your customer service representative will work with you to determine whether you are eligible for this waiver.

Department of Defense Student Loan Repayment Program

DESCRIPTION

In certain circumstances, as determined by the Department of Defense, all or a portion of your student loans may be repaid by the Department.

How to get it

Fill out form:
Download form

Veterans Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

DESCRIPTION

If you have a service-related disability, you may qualify for the discharge of your federal student loans. You‘ll need to provide documentation from the Department of Veterans Affairs showing that you’ve been determined to be unemployable due to a service-connected disability.

How to get it

More info:
For more information, refer to the Veterans Disability Discharge section on the Federal Student Aid website.

Sallie Mae private student loans

We’re pleased to offer our borrowers in the military the following special benefits for their Sallie Mae-originated private student loans.

Specialized Military Customer Service Reps

DESCRIPTION

A dedicated group of customer service representatives who are trained to answer your questions.

How to get it

Private Loan SCRA Interest-Rate Cap

DESCRIPTION

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) interest-rate cap is also available for private student loans (for both borrowers and cosigners). It caps a loan’s interest rate at 6%. (If your existing interest rate is less than 6%, it will not change.) You won’t be assessed service charges, renewal charges, fees, or any other charges while taking advantage of this benefit.

How to get it

This benefit applies to loans that were disbursed prior to active duty service. To be considered eligible for SCRA benefits, provide a written request and your military orders, including dates.

The preferred method for expedited processing is to upload the request and orders through your account on SallieMae.com or email your request to MilitaryBenefits@SallieMae.com.

  • Mail or fax a written request, along with a copy of your military orders, to Sallie Mae, P.O. Box 9500, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9500 (fax: 800-848-1949)
  • You can submit your request anytime during your active duty service and up to 180 days after leaving service.

Military Private Loan Postponement

DESCRIPTION

Military deferment or forbearance may be available for military personnel with private student loans. Eligibility is determined based on the type of loan and whether you are still in school, or have finished school, when the request is made. Interest is not capitalized at the end of the deferment/forbearance period.

  • Deferment: The maximum period for a single military deferment is three years, but additional time can be granted afterwards.
  • Forbearance: For National Military Forbearance/Military Operation Benefit Forbearance, there’s no time limit, if supported with a copy of military orders, or 12 months if requested verbally, for a private self-insured Sallie Mae loan. This forbearance does not count against available voluntary forbearance time.

How to get it

Please call Sallie Mae at 855-284-4879, identify yourself as currently being in the military, and discuss your payment deferral options with a customer service representative.