A reader asked about the National Defense Student Loan Discharge program that will allegedly forgive some or all federal student loans when someone serves in the military in a battle area.
While there are a lot of people talking about the program, government agencies are not. As it stands now the program seems to be more urban fact than fiction. If anyone has any link to any information about this alleged program, please post it in the comments section.
Multiple sources repeat the same information like this:
“The National Defense Student Loan Discharge (NDSLD) program is aimed towards military personnel who accessed a loan through the Perkin Loan or a National Direct Student Loans programs and who served at least one year in an area with imminent danger and/or direct fire. The program has not yet reported the forgiveness rate or the number of people who have taken advantage of it so far, but it is certainly worth a try. Candidates must fill in a special DD 214 discharge form and explain why they think they qualify for the program. The form and the explanatory letter must be sent to the company which services the loan.” – Source
Now under the heading os sometimes strange things happen, maybe somewhere there is some official information about this alleged program.
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However, as it stands right now there are a few alarms going off for me.
Multiple sources talk about the need to fill out a “special DD 214” form. The DD 214 is the “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.” It appears there are only two versions of the form. There is a “”short” or “redacted” or “deleted” (edited), and “long” or “unredacted” or “undeleted” (unedited) version. The edited, or “short”, copy omits a great deal of information, chiefly the Characterization of Service, Reason for Separation, and Authority for Separation.” – Source
So here is what makes the legitimacy of the alleged National Defense Student Loan Discharge program look questionable.
The following government agencies have no information on the program: Department of Defense, Department of Education, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Government Printing Office, and the Library of Congress.
The closest potential mention of something similar was a 1981 mention of a National Defense Student Loan. The Federal Register on January 21, 1981 said, “The Secretary does not consider a loan made under the National Defense Student Loan, National Direct Student Loan, Guaranteed Student Loan, or Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students Program that is discharged in bankruptcy to be in default for purposes of this section.”
The National Defense Student Loan was a type of loan created in the National Defense Education Act of 1958.
The bottom line is I can’t find anything to confirm any such program known as the National Defense Student Loan Discharge actually exists to reduce or eliminate student loans for veterans.