Student Loans

I Served My Country But Can’t Escape These Student Loans

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

I am a US Army Reservist on active duty for two years at Ft Bliss, TX. I have been in the Army since 2001 and have deployed to Afghanistan (2005) and Iraq (2008). I have received a 60% disability rating from the VA for tinnitus and PTSD bachelors in 2010. I have both Public and Private student loans with Navient Solutions.

1. Are there any programs that offer debt discharge/forgiveness for military veterans?

2. Navient has a class action settlement against them, will it apply to my situation?



Dear Marcus,

Honestly, what I’ve seen some veterans do is keep going back to their doctor until they can get a 100% disability status. At that point, the federal loans are able to be completely forgiven through the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge program.

When it comes to the private student loans there are difficult options potentially available but it really depends if you went to a non-accredited school and/or if the expenses you paid for with the private loans were qualified education expenses.

Military members are actively targetted, mostly by for-profit schools, and then left without options. But you don’t need me to tell you that.

As you can see from the government advice provided below, options for dealing with loans are more prevalent while you are an active military member. However, even those options just prolong the problem but do give you an interest break while on deployment.

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The solution that was historically claimed to be directed at military members was the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. After 120 payments the federal student loans would be forgiven tax-free.

For some unexplained reason, the current Trump administration Department of Education is rejecting most of those claims for forgiveness. It’s a train wreck.

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It is possible there may be a specific program available to you locally through the Reserves. I would urge you to contact the benefit delivery office and ask them directly about solutions.

In decades past, veterans could come back from duty, use their GI Benefits to go to college and graduate without debt.

Today the swarm of for-profit colleges trying to sell education to veterans is overwhelming. Veternas then get overloaded in overpriced education with few ways to deal with the resulting debt.

It is a shameful tragedy.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


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