The Army Student Loan Repayment Program

Army SLRP Benefits Remain Outstanding for 2017

In 2017, Army SLRP benefits remain the best of any Service Branch.

In fact, out of all the options currently available for receiving Military Student Loan Forgiveness, the Army’s Student Loan Repayment Program is not just the best, but by far the best possible option.

Why? Because compared to the other service branch’s Military College Loan Repayment Programs, the Army’s is the easiest to qualify for, and offers the maximum benefit amount; up to $65,000 in total student loan forgiveness benefits.

And while these benefits could disappear at the drop of a hat, especially depending on what President Trump’s Plan for Student Loan Debt ends up looking like, the benefit remains a powerful incentive becoming a Soldier, and it’s definitely worth looking into if you’re thinking about joining the Army.



What is Army SLRP?

The Army Student Loan Repayment Program is typically referred to as Army LRP or SLRP, but is officially known as the “Army College Loan Repayment Program”.

Army LRP  and was created to offer a special incentive to highly qualified individuals who enlist in one of the Army’s critical military occupational specialties (MOS). That means that these benefits aren’t available to everyone, but only to certain people who agree to serve in specific positions that the Army really needs help with.

In 2017, Army SLRP benefits remain fully-funded, and offer you the opportunity to receive annual payments to help reduce your student loan debt, with a lifetime maximum cap set at $65,000 in total forgiveness.

One thing to keep in mind about the Army’s SLRP program is that it’s designed for people who have already racked up some student loans. If you don’t already have student loan debt, then you’ll want to look at my page on the Army Tuition Assistance Program instead.


But Before I Delve Into Details…

Before I go through all the specific details of the Army’s student loan forgiveness program, let me give you a quick word of advice: if you’re already buried in student loan debt and are thinking about joining the military only for the debt relief benefits, then you’re about to make a huge mistake.

First, while that $65,000 in student loan forgiveness is an excellent deal, it’s not a good enough to give the next 4-6 years of your life away, and you’ll end up bitter, doing more harm than good to our country’s military. If all you want from the Army is some financial assistance, then you will end up a miserable soldier.

Second, there may be a better way to get rid of your loans, especially if you have Federally-funded student loan debt. Before you agree to join the Army, please considering spending 5 minutes of your time talking to my favorite student loan assistance company, the Student Loan Relief Helpline.

These guys are staffed by true experts in student loan debt; people who can evaluate your specific financial situation, look at your loans, and determine the best way to get you out of debt quickly. Maybe you’ll qualify for one of the many Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs, or maybe you’ll be able to get your Loans Discharged by Filing for Bankruptcy, or writing a Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Letter.

There are tons of options for reducing your student loans, and the Helpline will show you the path to getting that done quickly, and affordably. Your first call to the Helpline is free, and you’ll only be charged if you agree to have them work on reducing your debt for you, so you’ve got nothing to lose but a couple minutes of your day.

If you’ve got Federal loans, call the Federal Student Loan Relief Helpline at 1-888-906-3065.
If you’ve got Private loans, call the Private Student Loan Relief Helpline at 1-866-530-9946.


Army SLRP Eligibility Criteria

    To qualify for Army student loan repayment benefits, you must enlist for Active Duty service in the Army and:

  • Request to participate in the LRP program during your enlistment process
  • Get your participation annotated in writing on your enlistment contract
  • Decline participation in the Post 9/11 GI Bill in writing, using DD Form 2366 (see section below for details)
  • Hold a high school diploma (GED equivalents will not suffice) at the time of your enlistment
  • Score a 50 or higher on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (your main score from the ASVAB you took before enlisting)
  • Enlist in a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) deemed eligible for participation in the CLRP at the time of your enlistment (check with your recruiter to make sure that your MOS applies at the time you join up, as eligible programs change by the day)
  • Be on a non-prior service accession (unless you’re using enlistment in the Reserves to qualify for LRP benefits)
  • Have a student loan that qualifies for participating in the Army’s CLRP program (one insured or guaranteed by the Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part B, D, or E)

NOTE: Pay close attention to the third bullet point above.

If you plan on returning to college at a future date, then might want to sacrifice participation in the Army student loan repayment program, or at least think about joining for an extended service contract to prevent yourself from being denied access to Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.

To ensure your access to Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, make sure you enlist for at least 6 years, so that you qualify to participate in both the Army LRP program and the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

If you meet the eligibility criteria outlined above, you can begin receiving loan repayment benefits as soon as you complete your first year of service with the Army.

Qualifying Loans

    Not all student loans qualify for Army LRP benefits. Qualifying loans must be:

  1. Made, insured or guaranteed under the Federal Family Education Loan Program, part B of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1071)
  2. Made under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, part D of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087a)
  3. Made under Federal Perkins Loans, part E of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087aa)
  4. Incurred for education purposes (student loan debt only) and made by a lender that is:
  • An agency or instrumentality of a State
  • A financial or credit institution, or an insurance company, that is subject to examination and supervision by an agency of the US or any State
  • From a pension fund or a non-profit private entity, subject to a case by case review and approval
    Examples of Eligible Loans Include:

  • Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS loans)
  • Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS Loans)
  • Stafford Loans
  • Perkins Loans
  • William D. Ford Loans
    Examples of Non-Eligible Loans Include:

  • Private loans
  • Equity Loans
  • State Funded Loans
  • Institution Loans
  • Consolidation Loans for military dependents (spouses, children, etc.)

How Much Debt Relief Can I Get in 2017?

LRP benefits come with different rates depending on your status (whether you’re on Active Duty or in the Reserves), but as of this year, there’s still a bit of a loophole in this process.

Technically, Active Duty personnel are supposed to get more money, but in reality, those serving in the Reserves can qualify for just as much in annual benefits. 

Here’s how:

Army SLRP Rates for Active Duty Soldiers

Those serving in Active Duty stations are eligible to have 33.33% (or $1,500, whichever is higher) of the outstanding principle balance of their loans paid off for each year of service.

Payments begin on the date that you complete your first year. However, if you are shifted to an MOS role that isn’t eligible for LRP benefits, or if your role changes and is no longer deemed eligible, then you will lose your eligibility.

Army SLRP Rates for Army Reserves

Those serving in the Army Reserves are eligible to have 15% (or $1,500, whichever is higher) of the outstanding principle balance of their loans paid off for each year of service.

Did you see how that works? Even though Reserves members are only eligible to have half as much of their debt paid off in terms of the percentage, if their loans are small enough that $1,500 is higher than 15%, they can receive repayments at the same rate as Active Duty personnel.

Is My Loan’s Interest Covered Too?

One major flaw in the Army’s college repayment program is that it doesn’t provide any financial assistance for interest that you’ve accumulated on your student loan debt.

Instead, the program only offers you help with paying off the principle balance of your loan.

This is definitely a downer, as the benefits would be substantially more valuable if they did cover interest as well, but you may also be able to escape interest accumulation by speaking to your lender about their interest rules.

Can I Receive Deferment or Forbearance for my Loan?

Many loans do not accumulate interest while the borrower is deployed on active duty service, and some have other deferments options, so be sure to speak to whoever services your loan to find out if you can have interest forgiven or deferred to a later date.

Are SLRP Benefits Taxable Income?

Unfortunately, yes, your Army college loan repayment program benefits are counted as taxable income.

However, you won’t ever actually get any of the money that’s provided as LRP for your debt, because the Federal Government sends payments directly to your lender, and it witholds 28% of what it would have paid out on your behalf each year for distribution to the IRS.

So, while LRP benefits do count as taxable income (and have to be accounted for by a separate W-2 that you will receive each year), you won’t have to make any out of pocket payments to account for them.


Army SLRP Benefits & The Post 9/11 GI Bill

When the SLRP program was first announced, in order to qualify for its benefits, you had to completely waive participation in the Post 9/11 GI Bill, but the situation has changed (according to multiple first-hand reports), and you can now apparently satisfy eligibility guidelines for both programs simply by signing an extended service contract.

While army college loan repayment benefits are available to those who sign up for 4 year enlistments, both SLRP and Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits are being made to those enlistees who agree to join up for 6 years.

If you ever plan on returning to college again, then you will want to strongly consider enlisting for at least 6 years, since Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits provide tens of thousands of dollars in tuition assistance.


Other Considerations

Remember that you will only be able to receive loan repayment program benefits on loans that were created before you enlisted, and if your enlistment contract specifically states that you’re participating in the program.

Your loans must qualify for eligibility, and you must remain qualified in your original MOS throughout your initial term of service to continue receiving the benefit.

If, at any time, your loan ends up in default, then you will disqualify yourself from continued SLRP, so stay on top of things to prevent from losing out on the thousands of dollars that you deserve!


For More Information

Talk to your local Army recruiter to get additional details about the Army college loan repayment program, or visit the official Army HRC site here for access the program’s official Information Paper.

And to save tens of thousands of dollars on future education costs, make sure to take a look at our Military Education Benefits Guide.


Please Help Me Out

Help spread the word that Army LRP exists by posting a link to this page on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

The more Soldiers who sign up for LRP, the more likely this program is to remain funded.

Please do your part to ensure that LRP benefits remain available for generations to come by spreading the word today!

Thanks for your support, and please come back soon.


Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored content as I don't accept any form of sponsored posts, advertorials, native advertising, influencer marketing or incentivized, paid or promoted content. However, this post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service linked to from this post, I will receive some form of compensation.

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Tim's experience struggling with crushing student loan debt led him to create the website Forget Student Loan Debt, where he offers advice on paying off student loans as quickly, and cheaply, as possible. His new website Forget Tax Debt, offers similar advice to people with back tax problems.

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Comments

  1. Good evening,
    I’m a physician assistant, and I have served for 6 years as of this past June. I have received 3 years of bonuses and 2 years of loan repayment. If I decide to transfer into IRR status will I still be entitled for my last loan repayment bonus totaling $25K before taxes? Please help me in this matter.
    Thank you so very much

    • Hi Dayana,

      I am not sure if IRR status would disqualify you for the Army LRP benefits that you’ve been receiving, and I’d recommend that you don’t do it until you can get a solid answer on this. I think your best bet for getting a quick answer would be to call the Student Loan Ombudsman Group, which is a Government-backed entity that offers pro bono legal advice to people struggling with complicated Federal student loan issues; like yours! They should be able to clarify the legal specifics of the program, and tell you whether or not you can transfer to IRR status and still retain your benefits package.

      You can find contact information for the Student Loan Ombudsman Group here.

  2. Hello, I have a question. I enlisted in the Army Reserves in December 2007 with the SLRP as part of my contract. I initiated the process with the Army Education Website while enlisted, filling and sent out the appropriate DD forms. I am now out of the Army Reserves and have found out that the SLRP only paid out about 3 payments. Where do I start about this?

  3. Can you still qualify for the slrp if you are slapped with a UCMJ, company/field grade article 15 as a NG soldier while on active orders?

    • Is your question can you still receive the SLRP that you had written into your original enlistment contract after you get hit with the Article 15? If so, I’m not sure.

      To be clear though, SLRP is only available to people who are enlisting in the military… and it has to be written into their enlistment contract. If you’re wondering if you can sign up for the program after joining, and after getting an Article 15, then the answer is no.

  4. GoodScout says:

    Hello.. I enlisted in 1988 in the National Guard as a 19D Scout. After 3 years, Received my Honorable discharge after my 6 year enlistment. I never did use the program. Simply received my GI Bill and State NGB tuition assistance. Is there an expiration around using the SLRP?
    Would I be eligible for repayment of my existing Student Loans I created for my Master degree (2004 to 2005). Would I be eligible for repayment of student loans I incur, if I go back to college and get another degree?

    • Thank you for your service, but did you read my page? If SLRP wasn’t in writing, in your original service contract, then it’s gone for good and you’ll have no way to access it. Even people who DO have it in writing often have trouble getting the benefit.

  5. Great article! I’ve been using SLRP since my enlistment in 2009 and it has made my life so much easier. I wonder how many new enlisted members are getting this benefit nowadays?

    • Hi Joel,

      I haven’t seen any data on the total participation in the program, but it’s always good to hear that it’s working for someone because I get a lot of complaints about the program. Thank you for your service!

  6. Is the SLRP available for commissioned officers as well or is it only an enlistment incentive?

    • Hi Mah,

      From what I recall, everything is only available to enlisted personnel. In fact, most of the SLRP programs (for all branches) have been shut down since we winded down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. You need to contact someone in the Department of Defense, at the VA, or in the Army to find out what’s currently available. My page is probably out of date at this point in time.

  7. Bruce Daddis says:

    I had slrp on my original contract back in 2010 but I was honorably discharged early due to a medical issue and have been recently cleared to reenlist for the National Guard would I be eligible to recoup the slrp once again on this new contract if I pick a qualifying MOS?

    • Hi Bruce,

      Good question, and I’m not entirely sure. I would contact the Student Loan Ombudsman Group and ask them for info. These guys work for free, and they’re Government-backed. It’s a group of attorneys that offer consulting services to people with complicated, legal questions related to student loans. They’ll be your best bet to getting the right answer.

  8. Kaelene Kellis says:

    My husband served 6 years in the national guard from 09-16. It took 6 years to receive one payment on of of the loans listed in his contract. It was a complete struggle to even get that paid and it was only $1500.

    On my husbands contract, which he has a hard copy of, it states that the army agrees to pay all 3 of his student loans- one being citi bank which is a private loan. The loan is clearly written out with the amount due and signed as a written agreement back in 2009.

    Last night we were informed that they will not pay his citi bank loan even though it is in writing they would do so. Is this something they can do? Do we have any legal backing to get the loan paid that is in his contract?

    They said it was a mistake in the contract and isn’t part of their student loan repayment program.

    Would it be worth to go through JAG to addres this issue or address this matter with an attorney?

    Thanks for your help

    • Hi Kaelene,

      Before you contact JAG or an attorney, I’d recommend getting in touch with the Student Loan Ombudsman Group. This is a Government organization that I have no affiliation with, but who offers free support for people dealing with Federal student loan-related legal issues. They should be able to investigate and pursue this on your behalf, without costing you anything.

      IF they drag their feet, aren’t able to resolve it, or don’t know what to do, then I’d consider contacting JAG or hiring a private attorney.

      You can find contact information for the Student Loan Ombudsman Group here.

  9. So, anyone able to get this resolved? I’m going to copy/paste a letter to a Congressman (that hasn’t been addressed). This is the bulk of it. I edited a bit to protect some information.

    In my initial enlistment contract with the Army, which I have satisfied fully, I was entitled to 20,000 dollars of a student loan repayment in their incentive program. That was in February 2008. I have been trying, tirelessly and fruitlessly, to get ANY assistance from my unit, other units, peers, strangers, the internet, self-service portals, my lenders, and anyone I could reach out to. NO ONE has assisted me. NO ONE could provide ANY answers, and it has been over 8 years. I have been accruing and paying interest over this time, while I was supposed to be having payments made annually with this program. I’m exhausted. It’s insane to me that I can serve my country proudly and well, do all the footwork for a program that I have no idea how to navigate, and constantly be turned away with no information. I am a veteran. I am a combat medic. I am a grad student, mother, spouse of a service member, and I’m suffering due to the ineptitude and lack of any assistance from those that are supposed to provide this. Had I ever turned people away or refused to perform my duty, people would have died. This is unacceptable. I finally get a response back to my pleading with a stranger but professional, and now am being told that I’m a veteran now, out of the service as of March of this year (2016), so my benefits will not apply anymore, but I can potentially get some payment for half of my service, less the taxes I will incur. This. Is. Ridiculous. I need help. I need help, and am pleading with you for it. I don’t beg, I’m a proud woman, but this is breaking me.

  10. Quick question that someone here may be able to answer,

    The new SLRP for 2016 states that 15% or $1500, whichever is greater, will be paid towards each loan for Army Reserves soldiers. Does this apply to my loan payment requests now? Or is that only applicable for soldiers who sign a contract in 2016? Because from what I recall, it has been 15% or $500.

    Also, if I serve 3 years in the military with a 3 year old loan, does the SLRP backpay the years I did not submit a form for or do I have to submit it every year?

    Thanks.

    • Hey Trever,

      Great questions, and I’m not entirely sure. I would speak to the Student Loan Ombudsman Group (1-877-557-2575) about this, or ask at http://www.reddit.com/r/studentloans. I need to update my military forgiveness and repayment program pages with more current info, so I’d appreciate it if you came back and let me know what you find out!

  11. Frank Sanchez says:

    Hi Tim,
    Great page you got going on here! Was wondering if maybe you had some information I haven’t been able to find through my research. I am in the Army reserve and my SLRP got terminated for having too many unexcused absences (had some family issues to take care of and in retrospect I should have communicated better with my unit). My question is, have you ever seen an SLRP get terminated and then reinstated? Thanks for the help!

    -SPC Sanchez, Frank

    • Hi Frank,

      Thanks for the kind words, and sorry to hear about your situation. I have not heard anything like this happening, but if I were you, I’d contact the Student Loan Ombudsman Group and see if they could help lobby on your behalf. You can reach them here: 1-877-557-2575

  12. John Ellis says:

    You state under “Other Considerations”:

    “Remember that you will only be able to receive loan repayment program benefits on loans that were created before you enlisted…”

    I recieved $20,000 SLRP in my contract when I enlisted 3.5 years ago, but I WAS told that it could be used on any future debt as long as I was in during my 6 year enlistment.

    When I enlisted I didn’t have any debt. Now, I am enrolled in a masters program, and I I was planning to use my SLRP on this soon-to-be accumulated graduate debt.

    Can you confirm that your information is indeed true? I can’t use my SLRP benefit on my upcoming debt?

    • Hi John,

      I’m not the one with final say on this stuff. Whoever services your loan will be the arbiter in this case.

      One thing you can do is contact a private organization who specializes in dealing with Federal Student Loan Debt Relief, like the Student Loan Relief Helpline, and ask them the same question. Their specialists should be able to tell you whether or not you’re going to be able to apply those benefits to future costs. They’re also likely to work up a plan for you to reduce your monthly payments and get you set on a path toward earning comprehensive Federal Student Loan Forgiveness, especially as you’re military personnel.

      You can reach the Student Loan Relief Helpline by calling them here: 1-888-694-8235.

  13. Sorry to say but this program is not as great as it sounds.

    What the recruiter said: The Army will pay off 15% or $7500 of your student loans every year on your anniversary date.

    What has actually happened: We need forms filled out and signed in a very specific way and do not get started before 90 days before your anniversary date. We can not start processing your forms until your anniversary date. Also, that payment gets taxed. Those forms you fill out each year take a very very long time to process. So far, I have seen 1 payment. With interest my loans are currently at the same number as when I first enlisted over 3 years ago.

    • Dave,
      My experience with getting my loans repaid has been very easy. If you didn’t already know, you must go to the SLRP website at https://selfservice.rcms.usar.army.mil/education to initiate your own repayment. You can only log in using your CAC. Once logged in click on LRP/SLRP Home Page link on the right side of the page. If you have not uploaded physical copy of your promissory note in the SLRP site along with specific information that you were to enter into the SLRP site about loan, then they will not make payments until you do your part. After you complete this process you will be able to initiate the process to have your loans repaid.

      90 days before your anniversary date a gray link will appear enabling you to began your SLRP process. After clicking on that link, it takes you to the next page where you will select another link that will print out the DD Form 2475(DOD EDUCATIONAL LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM (LRP) ANNUAL APPLICATION). All the information will be filled out for you. The only requirement for you will be to sign and date in blocks 2F and 2G. Nothing else on that form would be needed from you to fill out since it will have been automatically populated from the promissory note that was you had on file. You would need to send that to whoever is you loan holder for them to fill out the details on your balance and interest. They will then send the form directly to the SLRP team on Ft. McCoy. Once received the SLRP team will go ahead and process the forms if received 90 days before your anniversary date but will not approve the payment and later send to your loan servicer. That process takes up to 2 weeks. They will go ahead and make back payments if none has been made on your previous anniversary dates. Let the SLRP site do all the work for you rather than you filling out the forms yourself. You can also send them messages from that site in which they are good at getting back with you within 48 hours.

      Look at your SLRP addendum when you signed your contract to see what the payment percentage or maximum amount the army will pay. The 15% is correct but the $7,500 does not sound correct. But you must have this addendum with your enlistment contract to have your student loans repaid. If you never signed this addendum then you don’t have this entitlement.

  14. What careers are available for the CLRP in the Army?

    • Hi David,

      I haven’t been able to find the latest list – it may not be published anywhere online. Contact an Army recruiter and I’m sure he or she can provide you with the details.

  15. I joined the army in october 2009 and received the SLRP. I am curious to know if other people had issues when they tried to get money back for their loans when they filed their taxes. I never received a 1098E for the interest paid and therefore could not get money back. It was used as taxable income instead which bumped me up a bracket because they paid 66% and 2/3 of my repayment in the first year and I did not get money back. In the letters that were sent to me from SLRP, it said that I would be able to get money back during taxes, but it did not happen. I am fortunate for having been able to receive the SLRP, but not without a little deception.

    • Hi Jean,

      I’m not sure if your situation went down according to the rules, or if something went amiss. I do believe that you have to count the SLRP benefits as taxable income (the IRS always needs their fair share), but I am not sure if you were supposed to get money back or not.

      My advice is to contact the Student Loan Ombudsman Group and ask them how they interpret the situation. This is a non-profit group of lawyers who offer FREE legal advice on issues related to Federal student loan debt, and I think they’re going to be your best bet to sorting out the situation.

      I would say “contact your CO”, but I’ve heard far too many horror stories from attempting to resolve issues like yours within the military chain of command. Based on all the complaints I’ve received over the years, it sounds like no one in the military has any idea how anything related to Federal student loan debt is supposed to work.

      Good luck! And thank you for your service!

  16. I love the Army, but my SLRP has been just problematic for me, it is the main reason I want to get out now. I have been in for 4 years in the National Guard, and submitted my paperwork on my 2nd anniversary for my first two payments, then submitted more paperwork on my 3rd anniversary. I have already passed my fourth and have not even contacted the office to submit my paperwork again because I have yet to see any money after more than 2 years. Every time I contact them, they tell me to be patient and that the NGB is extremely slow. There is no way it takes this long to get a payment? I can’t be the only one… Please advise.
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi John,

      Thank you for your service, and sorry that you’re having so many issues with this. You are NOT the only one.

      Will you try something for me? Contact the Student Loan Ombudsman Group to see if they can help. They usually resolve things for civilians, but I don’t see why they couldn’t step in on your behalf here.

      You can reach them at 1-877-557-2575. Tell them your story and see if they can do anything to speak up the process.

      If enough people in the same situation as you keep complaining to them, it’s possible that someone, somewhere, will be held accountable for the delays, and that something will be done to fix the obviously broken system.

  17. Such a load of bull crap. The army just uses this program to sucker in people (like me) into thinking you can just take out 20K loans and easily get them repaid. That is not the case. They pay back the loans at a ridiculously slow pace.
    If the Army gave a damn, and was serious about this program, they would pay back the loan as soon as you graduate with one payment as long as the amount was the same or less than that in your contract.
    And what happens if your contract expires or you go IRR before the loans get repaid? You’re screwed! They stop making any payments.

    Bottom line, don’t join the military for the benefits. And of course, never trust a recruiter.

    • Good advice Sean.

      The benefits are not all that they’re cracked up to be, that’s for sure, and Recruiters are definitely out there spreading yarns about how useful those benefits might be.

      Thank you for your service, and sorry that you’re having a bad experience.

    • Sean,

      I enlisted in 2012 and they paid $20k in 2013, 2014 and 2015. $20k is 33.3% of my loans that aren’t interest. Everyone enlists for at least 3 years so there is no danger of not getting it paid off on active duty unless you get discharged early for some reason.

  18. Patrick Gallagher says:

    Just want everyone to be aware that if you do join a branch of the military and are seeking the SLRP MAKE SURE you get it written in on your contract. I joined the ARNG in 2011 and my recruiter told me I had the SLRP and we talked about it frequently. I had faith in my countries military, but sadly it screwed me over and when I got out of AIT my home unit said I didn’t qualify for the SLRP because my recruiter never wrote it down on paper. So now I’m stuck paying off around $25,000 in students loans. Sad that soldiers get treated this way but that’s just the way it is I guess.

    • This is ABSOLUTELY the case that many others have experienced as well. No matter what your recruiter says, SLRP Benefits MUST BE WRITTEN INTO YOUR ENLISTMENT CONTRACT!

      If they are not, you will not qualify for the program.

      Sorry to hear about your experience Patrick. I’ve done my best to make this clear here, but people still miss that part and assume that they can trust their Recruiters.

      The sad truth is, even if the Recruiter fights tooth and nail to get you benefits after the fact, they don’t have any power to get that authorized if it wasn’t written into your original contract.

  19. Hi, I called a recruiter today and they said the army only offers the slrp for reserve duty only, and up to 30,000. I’m finding this hard to believe.

    • Hi Trevor,

      It’s possible that they’ve dropped the benefits because of budget costs. There has been a lot of talk of cancelling these programs outright, so to tell you the truth, I’m not that surprised.

      I just wish they would update their website on a regular basis so that I could get the information right for everyone out there searching for details.

  20. This is a GREAT program, and one of the reasons I joined the USAR. The Army payed off over $14,000
    in student loans for me, plus I am now using Tuition Assistance to continue my education.
    I LOVE THE ARMY!!!!!!

    • Thank you for sharing your success story with us SGT Miller!

      We’ve heard a lot of horror stories, so it’s nice to hear that things are working as they should out there.

      Thank you for your service to our country, and keep on keeping on!

  21. Tim,

    One of the best articles on SLRP that I have found throughout the net. Thank you very much for sharing the information. Was wondering if I could get your help with my situation:

    I enlisted for National Guard Sept 2013, I am 4 classes from graduating and have a lot of student loan under my name. I signed up as O9S (Officer Candidate) and was told I would be able to get SLRP after commissioning and signing a new contract. I just got done with basic and started getting weird answers there. As I am doing more research, I think I just got screwed over. 🙁

    Was hoping to get some advice or hear thoughts from you or anyone reading. Thanks

    • Hi Jean,

      Thanks for the kind words!

      I’ve been hearing some strange things about SLRP lately, and it’s really scaring me. You’re not the first person to visit the site and comment that you were promised something which is no longer being delivered.

      Here’s the terrible news – whatever they say goes in this space. If you really wanted to push the issue, you could contact someone higher up the command chain or whoever you’re dealing with (and being told “no” by), or if you wanted to go nuclear you could try to hire a lawyer and starting a legal case against the National Guard, but I doubt that would end well.

      Do you have it IN WRITING on your enlistment contract that you will be getting SLRP benefits? If not, then you are probably screwed. If you DO, then I would not give up on pursuing your benefits, because you earned them!

      Here’s another thing to consider trying – go to the National Guard’s website and visit their page about SLRP (here), then click the “Talk to an Expert” button on the bottom, right-hand side of the page. Ask them who you need to contact to get this sorted out, and figure out what’s going on.

      The good news is that you might have a chance. The bad news is that it’s going to take some leg-work, and determination, to get this done.

      Good luck! Let me know if you find anyone who I can refer others with questions about SLRP to, as I’ve had trouble identifying a reliable contact.

  22. You article states that private loans are not eligible for CLRP, but the information given by the Army at its Army Benefits site says otherwise. Any idea which is correct?

    The document Army Benefits forwarded me to says that the army will repay on any loan made for educational purposes, so long as the lender is either government or is supervised by an agency of the gov’t (state or federal). . .I don’t know anything about whether there is any gov’t oversight on private student loans issued by a bank, but maybe to somebody that did this would answer the question.

    Thanks for taking the time to actively respond to comments!

    • Hi Andrew,

      It sounds like you’re confusing terms. Where you wrote “so long as the lender is either Government or is supervised by an agency of the Gov’t…”, that sounds to me like private loans do not qualify.

      The way Federal loans work is that the funding is provided by the Federal Government, but your loans are serviced by an “agency of the Government” (like Sallie Mae or some other lender). Basically, it’s a Federally-funded loan, serviced by a Private banking institution.

      A private loan has nothing to do with Government funding at all, and won’t qualify for the Army Student Loan Repayment Program.

      Hope this clears things up.

  23. Zach Matagaki says:

    I spoke to an army recruiter in July of 2014. I was told they no longer HAD the Loan Repayment Program for active duty soldiers.

    What changed? Is there any way to get into that program still? Recruiters say “no.”

    • Hi Zach,

      According to the Army Benefits website, the College Loan Forgiveness Program was still available as of June 27th, 2014.

      I can’t seem to find anything talking about CLRP being cancelled, but if recruiters are saying it’s not available, then it’s possible something has changed.

      I’ll look into this further and post an update if I can find anything else, but from what I’ve been able to research online, the CLRP program still appears to be running – perhaps you’re not eligible for it for some reason?

  24. I’m pursuing enlistment and was told at the beginning that this program was available. Now, it is not available and affecting my ability to enlist. I spoke with Army HR Command Center (from the above link) and they verified the program is DEAD to anyone enlisting for all Army jobs. I don’t know how this is officially verified but as of now, a strong Army candidate with 2 degrees has no indication that this program is still being offered to new enlistees.

    • Thank you for checking in with that information. I haven’t heard anything about this, but I’ll try to confirm what you’ve shared and update this page accordingly.

      That would truly be a bad deal if Army SLRP were completely cancelled.

  25. “Unfortunately, as of 2014, yes, your Army college loan repayment program benefits are counted as taxable income.”

    Were they not taxable before 2014? I got a notice from the IRS saying I received $6000 under the EIN used by the Army SLRP for 2012. I’ve never claimed any exemptions on my military pay and as far as I can tell they’ve only ever paid out $3000 each year on my loans. I’ve never actually checked whether those disbursements were taxed or not. I’m frantically trying to investigate the matter as the IRS says I owe a bunch of money now.

    • Hi John,

      According to my research, these were not counted as taxable income until 2014, but perhaps I’m incorrect on that. Try contacting someone up your chain of command to get a clear answer.

      The problem here though, is that no matter what they tell you, it’s really the IRS who calls the shots. If the IRS says that you owe them money, it would be quite difficult to get around paying it back =(

    • It has always been taxable income. I had 60k net paid off in my student loans and they always withheld some of the other money to pay the taxes so I wouldn’t have to.

  26. Does anyone know if they take additional taxes for state as well? Is it just 28%?

  27. It sounds really good up front but it’s not all gravy. They’re probably keeping that $1000 as taxes. I was approved for $7500 but only $5,182.50 was paid out. Over $2,300 went to taxes. Unless my math was messed up, it should have been $2,100 according to that 28%.

  28. I am currently using the SLRP but the payment amount that is being deducted in my SLRP is not the same as the amount being deducted in my student loan. For example, the SLRP noted that they paid off $3000 towards my loan but when I checked my loan account, only $2000 is getting deducted. So what happens to the $1000? I have contacted my loan services and they provided me some kind of a receipt of payment in which I forwarded to SLRP people. It’s been weeks and I still haven’t received any answers.

  29. Frank Douglas says:

    As long as you have your s*** together this is an awesome program!! I’ve received more than $15,000 in Army SLRP benefits and I’m more than half way through paying off my loans.

  30. Harper Stroud says:

    Hey thanks for this. Sounds like the Army student loan repayment program will let me get rid of the student loan debt I built up getting a worthless degree in Philosophy. Want to know how valuable that degree has been? I’ve been working as a Janitor for the past three years.

  31. London Landry says:

    I am having troule using the site that is provdided for SLP beneits I am not sure exactly what the first step is to get the process going. i have been struggling with this for months and noone at my unit knows how to do it. Can i get a little help or at least some advice on who i can call to actually speak to someone

  32. Lino Judkins says:

    Army SLRP saved my ass when I needed it the most. My student loan debt was actually growing each year because I kept missing payments, but once I enlisted with full LRP Program benefits and started receiving money after my first year of service, my debt has shrunk each of the past three years. I want to thank the Army and Congress for making this benefit available, because I don’t know how I would afford to pay the bills otherwise. You helped me out of a tough spot!

  33. Treva Quebedeaux says:

    Sir/Ma’am,

    In 2008 I extended my enlistment as a 35PL20 for 3 years with the incentive of SLRP. The incentive is annotated not only on my final DD214 but on my extention contract as well. After multiple attempts, to include contacting the National Guard Bureau, Louisiana state IG, and Army IG while in Iraq, I still have yet to receive any benefit/payments applied to my outstanding student loan balance. I’ve honored my obligations; serving the entirety of all of my enlistment contracts and have been honorably discharged. Who may I contact (that I have not already) that will actually enforce the terms of my reenlistment and have Louisiana National Guard repay their portion of my student loans? Thank you in advance.

    SSG Q

    • Hi Treva,

      I wish I knew, but I’m honestly not sure who would be able to help. To start though, I would try contacting your former commanding officer, your original recruiter, or a VA representative to see if they could at least point you in the right direction. Good luck!

    • SSG please utilize the SLRP HRC portal to start using this benefit. Sounds like you did not actually enroll in the SLRP website to the Armys loan site to start repayments. This site generates a DD form that you will need to send to your loan providers. Here’s the link:https://www.hrc.army.mil/TAGD/Loan%20Repayment%20Program

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