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Benefits for Military Servicemembers

Edfinancial Services appreciates your service to our country and we want to ensure that you are aware of the options available specific to student loan borrowers in the military. Below you will find descriptions and requirements for each benefit that may be available to you, along with instructions about How to Apply. Please also visit our Lower Payment Options page to explore various repayment plan options.

To speak with our Servicemember Liaison, call our toll-free number then select option 4 or email us at military@edfinancial.com. (Please do not include any personally identifiable information such as your social security number or account number in your email.)

Your options are specific to your loan type. Not sure of your loan type?

The forms available on this page are provided in PDF format. They require Adobe Reader and must be printed and mailed or faxed.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
* Available for Private, Direct, and FFELP Loans.

The SCRA allows members of the Uniformed Services to receive an interest rate cap of 6.00% for qualifying debts and it applies to private, Direct, and FFELP Loans that were obtained before the date you, or the eligible endorser, entered military service. For military service prior to August 14, 2008, only private loans are eligible to receive a reduced interest rate of 6.00%. Note that the SCRA interest rate limit does not apply to an endorser of a PLUS loan made to a parent or a graduate/professional student unless that individual is also performing eligible military service.

If a loan was obtained after the date you began military service, it is not eligible for the SCRA 6.00% interest rate cap. For eligible loans, you are eligible for the reduced rate from the date you began your military service through the date that you leave military service; as long as the period of service is greater than thirty days. Past due accounts are eligible for SCRA benefits; however, the interest rate change will not reduce any delinquency.

NOTE: If you are on active duty, you are eligible for an interest rate reduction under the SCRA for all federal and private student loans taken out prior to the start of your service. If you consolidate your loans while serving in the military, you will lose the ability to qualify for this benefit. Because a consolidation loan is a new loan, a consolidation loan made after a borrower has started active-duty military service is not eligible for benefits under the SCRA even if the underlying loans were taken out prior to the start of active-duty service. For this purpose, a consolidation loan will be considered eligible for benefits under the SCRA as long as the borrower applied for the consolidation loan before starting active-duty military service.

How to Apply

If you think you may be eligible for benefits through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, contact us so we can verify your eligibility. We check the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) website to confirm periods of military service and apply SCRA benefits to eligible servicemembers.

Military Service Deferment
* Available for Direct and FFELP Loans.

This deferment is available to a borrower during periods in which a borrower is serving in one of the following capacities:

  • on active duty during a war or other military operation, or a national emergency
  • on qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation, or a national emergency

The deferment begins on the date the condition entitling the borrower to the deferment first existed and ends on the date on which the borrower's qualifying service is certified to end or actually ends.

For a borrower whose qualifying service includes October 1, 2007, or begins on or after that date, the deferment is extended for an additional 180 days after the date the borrower is demobilized from that qualifying service. The additional 180-day deferment is available to a borrower each time a borrower is demobilized from qualifying active duty service. The additional 180-day deferment period may not be granted unless we receive documentation of the date the borrower was demobilized from qualifying service.

How to Apply

Request the deferment and provide a copy of your military orders or a written statement from your commanding or personnel officer, or complete the Military/Post-Active Duty Deferment form (Direct Form - FFELP Form) and have your commanding or personnel officer certify in Section 4.

Post-Active Duty Student Deferment
* Available for Direct and FFELP Loans.

This deferment is available to a borrower who is called or ordered to active duty on or after October 1, 2007, or for a period of service that includes that date, and who satisfies both of the following criteria:

  • is a member of the National Guard or Armed Forces Reserve, including a member who was in a retired status when activated
  • was enrolled on at least a half-time basis in a program of study at an eligible school at the time of, or within 6 months prior to, being called or ordered to active duty

A borrower who meets the eligibility criteria receive a deferment for up to 13 months following the completion of a period of active duty military service if that service began on or after October 1, 2007, or includes that date. The deferment ends on the earlier of the date of the borrower's re-enrollment in school on at least a half-time basis, or the date the 13-month period ends.

A borrower who is eligible for both the post-active duty student deferment and the 180-day extended military service deferment period can only receive these benefits concurrently and not consecutively (i.e., the maximum benefit is limited to 13 months).

How to Apply

Request the deferment and provide documentation of your duty status showing you were a member of the National Guard or Reserves, and establish an end-of military service date and enrollment status at an eligible school at the time of, or within six months prior to, military activation, or complete the Military/Post-Active Duty Deferment form (Direct Form - FFELP Form) and have your commanding or personnel officer certify in Section 4 and provide any necessary supporting documentation.

Department of Defense (DOD) Loan Repayment Program
* Available for Direct and FFELP Loans.

You may be eligible for forbearance of your loan, granted in yearly increments, if you are performing the type of service that qualifies you for a partial repayment of your loan(s).

How to Apply

You must complete a forbearance request form (Direct Form - FFELP Form) and enclose a statement from an authorized official of the DOD certifying the beginning and end dates that you are expected to perform the type of service that qualifies you for a partial repayment of your loan(s).

Serving on Active Duty in a Hostile Area
* Available for Direct Loans only.

If you meet certain criteria, no interest will accumulate on your loan(s) for a period of no more than 60 months during the service described below. For Direct Consolidation Loans, this benefit applies to the portion of the consolidation loan that repaid loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2008. To be eligible, you must:

  • have a Direct Loan that was first disbursed on or after October 1, 2008, and
  • be serving on active duty or performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war, other military operation, or national emergency, and serving in an area of hostilities qualifying for special pay.

How to Apply

You must contact us to request the interest rate reduction and provide a copy of your military orders or a written statement from your commanding officer.

Helpful Tips Before You Deploy

Here are some helpful tips to consider prior to deployment which will assist in managing your student loan(s):

  • Consider granting power of attorney to an individual you trust so they can act on your behalf. As an alternative, you can set up an authorized third party on your account to receive account information (this authorization will not allow the third party to make changes to your account).
  • Create an online account through Manage My Account (MMA) to have quick access to account details. MMA allows you to access account specific information, make account changes, pay bills, and more.
  • Sign up for eStatements through MMA to have your correspondence sent electronically instead of by mail.
  • Review your available repayment plan and deferment/forbearance options.
  • Sign up for KwikPay® (automatic-debit payment plan) to have your payments automatically deducted from a checking or savings account each month. While your account is in active repayment and enrolled in Kwikpay, you may receive an interest rate reduction of 0.25%.
  • Place an active duty alert on your credit report to reduce the risk that you'll become a victim of identity theft.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Please note that for Direct Loan borrowers working towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), in order to have your payments be considered "qualifying payments", you must repay your loan(s) under the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan or, if you are eligible, under the Income-Based, Pay As You Earn, or Income-Contingent Repayment plan. PSLF was created to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full time in public service jobs. Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your eligible federal student loans after you have made 120 payments on those loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time by certain public service employers.

For more information, review the StudentAid.ed.gov - Aid for Military Families.

Additional Links

Servicemember Liaison

Edfinancial Services appreciates those who have served or are currently serving in the military. We currently offer a designated Servicemember Liaison who is ready to assist you in any way that we can. The Servicemember Liaison can be contacted by calling our toll free number at 1-800-337-6884 and choosing option 4 and/or by emailing military@edfinancial.com. (Please do not include any personally identifiable information such as your social security number or account number in your email.)