Critical Changes for the Navy SLRP
As of July 1st, 2015 the Navy Student Loan Repayment Program has ended. There are no ratings or programs which are eligible for this benefit. On top of this, the Navy also dropped programs eligible for enlistment bonuses, decreasing the number of ratings and programs from 13 to only 7.
This is where it gets confusing with the Navy College Loan Repayment Program. They still continue to offer up to $65,000 in student loan repayment benefits, but only for eligible Navy personnel. The funds are also restricted to a tiny pool of eligible candidates. Furthermore, it is said the Navy loan repayment program is a fantastic opportunity to lesson financial liabilities but they warn you to be extremely cautious about doing so because of eligibility conditions being incredibly difficult to satisfy.
Loan repayments benefits are offered to enlistees in regular active duty personnel or those joining the Navy Reserves, but only if they are first-time enlistees and they cannot have prior military service experience. Once enlistees have successfully completed the first year of active duty service, along with the basic training and then have completed all their required on-job training for their specific Navy occupation; it is then benefits are made available.
For 2015, only Title IV student loans are eligible for participation in the Navy student loan repayment program. These loans include:
- Stafford Student Loans (GSLs)
- Perkins Loans Federally Insured Student Loans (FISLs)
- Supplemental Loans for Students (SLSs)
- Parents Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS loans)
- Consolidated Loan Program Loans
If you do not have a Title IV student loan and do not qualify for participating in this program, then make sure you explain that to your Navy recruiter. They may be able to offer you participation in any other Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Programs. There may or may not be other options available to you.
Because of the immediate changes to the Navy CLRP program, it is unclear what exactly is going on with the loan program. Different information has reflected critical flaws in implementing the end of the program with many people, and future enlistees not getting the right story on what happens now with the loans. The Navy is encouraging other debt forgiveness programs and helping lead personnel with outstanding loan debt to these programs.
The Navy will not be responsible for the interest which accrues on student loan debt and this accrued interest is not eligible to be repaid as part of the (now-ending) Navy CLRP program. Even interest which has been re-capitalized into principal is not now eligible for receiving payment.
The Navy CLRP program refers loan deferment or forbearance benefits out to other lenders and only for borrowers who are deployed on active duty.
This is last year’s qualifying list for the Navy student loan repayment program; however it is uncertain as of July 1, 2015 if this even matters.
- Request to participate in the Navy CLRP program while enlisting in the Navy for the first time (Navy reserves enlistees can have prior service and still qualify)
- Make sure that your participation in the CLRP program is spelled out in writing on your enlistment contract
- Decline to enroll in the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits program
- If joining Navy active duty, you must enlist for a minimum period of at least four years
- If joining the Navy reserves, you must enlist for a minimum period of at least six years
- Have student loan debt that meets the eligibility guidelines
- You must have a rating (mission or job) that’s been deemed eligible for the Student Loan Repayment Program
There are still some fantastic benefits available for Navy service member, veterans and dependents. The Post 9/11 GI Bill of Benefits provides up to 100% of tuition and fee coverage, up to a $1,000 per year for supplies, books, and a potential monthly living allowance. You may transfer this benefit to a dependent, and it is good for up to 15 years after completing your service commitment. To qualify for this, you must have had at least 90 days of Active Duty military service since September 11, 2001.
Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance
There are excellent programs in the Navy which make it possible for you to go to school while serving.
The Navy College Program (NCP) makes it easy to receive academic credit for the training you receive and even for all the work done while serving on Active Duty. Any coursework completed while deployed are credit worthy.
There is also Tuition Assistance (TA) program which pays up to 100% of the course cost at accredited institutions while in an off-duty status.
The Montgomery GI Bill is still alive and well offering up to 36 months of educational benefits that may be used for degree or certificate programs. This extends to flight training, apprenticeships, and correspondence courses.
This is just a few available programs for those seeking to serve and also want to attend college or learn an occupation. Check out the Navy Recruit site for more available programs.
As of now, the Loan Repayment Program has been terminated. The phase out of this program has left many people with unanswered questions about their loans. For those who depended on this program, it is best to seek out further information about your loans.