With the average student loan debt at around $24,000, its important to manage that student loan debt. Even worse, a trillion dollar debt load is headed for a debt explosion that could be extemely taxing on our economy. Now this wouldn’t be so bad individually if you had finished school and were hired by a great company! But what happens if you couldn’t finish? Its a hard thing to admit, but research shows that 35% to 50% of students don’t finish school, yet have student debt loads. So what do you do if you have debt but havent finished? Well, Uncle Sam has a solution for you, if you have what it takes….more after the jump…
Almost everyone has heard of the GI Bill to help military veterans complete college. However, very few know they also are willing to pay back student loans as well. Across the board, some of the rules are generally the same; the programs offered by the various military services require the following:
1) Basic physical health and fitness eligibility standards for respective services
2) Applicants must not have prior service, or must have been out for a period of time
3) Applicants will have to pass the same background checks as other enlistee’s
4) Applicants can only enlist: loan payback is not offered to officer candidates except in special fields
5) 3 Years minimum contract is required
6) One-third of the debt will be paid each year of service, with the debt cleared after three years of service
7) Applicants usually have to sacrifice receiving the Post-911 G.I. Bill, for their first enlistment; some services allow enlistees to earn the GI Bill after their first enlistment ends.
8) The US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard do not offer this program at the time of writing this post
As someone who served in the US Navy, I can honestly say that the military is not for everyone. It requires hard work and attention to detail. However, it is a great opportunity to get what could be thousands of dollars of inescapable debt off your back. In addition, you still receive your full pay and benefit package, which includes full health, dental, housing, and 30 days of paid leave each year. Not to mention all services pick up the tab for college education while enlisted at their respective base community colleges.