Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Can Disabled Veterans Get Student Loan Forgiveness

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President Trump orders easing of student loan forgiveness process for disabled vets

Some private organizations offer to help veterans pay their loans. Some may provide aid in the form a huge one-time payment. Others may provide student loan repayment plans.

RELATED: Student Loan Forgiveness for Military

Student loan forgiveness for veterans is the least we can do for our countrymen who sacrifice their lives for us. It also encourages the next generation to serve their country through the military.

Theres no better way to show thanks to our veterans than the continuous support for student loan forgiveness for them.

Which Navient Student Loans Do You Have

First of all, you should keep in mind that Sallie Mae loan forgiveness is completely different from Navients loan forgiveness programs. They both have different loan programs, co-signer options, repayment options, credit score requirements, and education loans.

Because Navient does federal loan servicing, as well, you have to separate your private loans from your federal loans . Since there are different forgiveness programs for each type of loan, it makes a huge difference.

If you dont remember which type of student loans you took out, you can always call Navient and inquire from them directly. Alternatively, you can check with the federal governments National Student Loan Data System by conducting a Financial Review.

Its best if you have federal loans since that makes you eligible for federal forgiveness programs, provided youve been making your monthly payments. However, private student loans are subject to the rules of the company that provided the direct loan. Private student loans can be eligible through the state, or in some cases, profession-specific forgiveness programsif youve been regularly making the student loan payments.

Furthermore, check if Navient is your loan servicer. Just log in on the federal student aid website with your FSA ID and check your current ED servicer. Itll most likely be Navient. However, it could also be FedLoan Servicing, Nelnet, or the Great Lakes Higher Education.

Make It A Priority To Avoid Missing Payments

Whether or not you believe you qualify for student loan forgiveness, it’s important to continue to make your monthly payments on time every month to avoid potential damage to your credit score. Remember that you’ll receive all of your payments back if you qualify for forgiveness, as long as they were made after the effective date of your disability determination.

While you’re at it, monitor your credit regularly to make sure no other issues pop up that could threaten the health of your credit.

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Veterans: Take Advantage Of Student Loan Forgiveness But Dont Let It Damage Your Credit

For some veterans, their time in uniform caused a severe service-connected disability. This dramatically impacts their life after transition out of the military.

For 100-percent service-disabled veterans who have student debt, the Department of Education offers a valuable benefit to help them avoid financial distress the chance to have their loans discharged . Under federal law, veterans can seek federal student loan forgiveness if they receive a 100 percent disability rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs . Private student lenders are not required to offer this benefit, but some do on a case-by-case basis, so be sure to ask.

We encourage all consumers to check their credit report regularly, but we want to especially encourage veterans who use this benefit to be sure that their student loan servicer is providing correct information about their loan discharge to credit bureaus .

For example, one service-disabled veteran submitted a complaint to us describing how his credit score fell by 150 points as a result of this type of error. His score went from a nearly perfect super prime credit score to a much lower score simply because he received loan forgiveness.

Prior Service Loan Repayment Program

Student Loan Forgiveness For 100 Disabled Veterans Spouse

This isnt exactly a forgiveness program.

Its a repayment plan that can remove as much as the same amount as other programs. It caters to soldiers in the Army Reserve who have served in the military.

Under this program, you can receive up to $50,000 toward student loan payments. If you are pursuing this repayment plan, youll want to consult with your loan servicer.

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Reconstruction And Jim Crow

During the post-war Reconstruction era, African Americans were able to unite in communities, particularly around Richmond, Danville, and the Tidewater region, and take a greater role in Virginia society, as many achieved some land ownership during the 1870s. Virginia adopted a constitution in 1868 which guaranteed political, civil, and voting rights, and provided for free public schools. However, with much of the railroads and other infrastructure investments destroyed during the Civil War, the Commonwealth was deeply in debt, and in the late 1870s redirected money from public schools to pay bondholders. The Readjuster Party formed in 1877 and won legislative power in 1879 by uniting Black and white Virginians behind a shared opposition to debt payments and the perceived plantation elites.

How Do I Apply For Student Loan Forgiveness For The Disabled

Below are the steps for applying for a total and permanent disability discharge:

  • First, get in touch with Disability Discharge via a phone call at 883-303-7818, or through an online form.
  • Once you have informed them of your intent to apply, Disability Discharge will send you all the requirements through a TPD application.
  • Then they will determine if your TEACH Grant service obligation and/or federal student loans are eligible for a discharge.
  • Afterwards, they will contact your loan holders and direct them to postpone collection of your loans for up to 120 days. So you may delay paying for your loans for up to 120 days.
  • If you are unable to, your authorized representative can apply on your behalf by completing the Applicant Representative Designation form.

    However, Disability Discharge should receive and process the form first, before your representative can apply on your behalf.

    If by chance you are unable to sign the form, your representative can also sign it on your behalf. Just submit a power of attorney document.

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    What If I’m Disabled But Don’t Qualify For Discharge

    If you don’t meet the requirements for a TPD discharge, but you still have a hard time keeping up with your monthly payments because of your disability, there are financial assistance programs available for other aspects of your finances that can help make room in your budget:

    • Medicare can help cover your medical costs if you have an eligible disability.
    • Medicaid can help cover your medical costs if you have a low income.
    • The Housing Choice Voucher Program, also called Section 8, can help pay part of your rent in an approved rental.
    • The Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program can help cover certain housing expenses.
    • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, can help low-income families with food needs. People with disabilities can qualify for increased SNAP benefits.

    You can also reach out to the National Disability Rights Network, Disability Rights Legal Center, National Disability Institute and other nonprofit or charity organizations that can help you get the financial assistance you need.

    Choose A Forgiveness Program Option For Your Private Student Loans

    Trump orders student loan forgiveness for disabled veterans

    Your Navient private student loans arent directly eligible for Navient student loan forgiveness. However, there are other private student loan forgiveness options you can opt for.

    The following are some ways you can opt for private student loan forgiveness:

    • Bankruptcy: Your loans wont be automatically forgiven if youre bankrupt. However, it is possible if you can prove that repaying your loans will cause undue hardship. You will have to file an action against your student loan lender, and while the chances of success are slim, a substantial loan amount just might do the job.
    • Death or Disability Discharge: Your private loan might be forgiven due to permanent disability or death .
    • Missing Paperwork: At times, missing paperwork means that a lender cannot prove that a certain person owes any money. National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts has lost tons of cases due to a lack of proper paperwork. If thats the case, you wont be liable for the loan if youre taken to court after defaulting.
    • Predatory Practices or Fraud: If your lender or loan servicer is proven guilty for fraud, predatory practices, or borrower abuse, all their loans are considered null and every borrower has their loan forgiven. New regulations from the Trump administration have made it hard to find relief in these situations, however, you can still pursue legal remedies.

    If you think you fall under any of these categories, you can be hopeful for private student loan forgiveness.

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    Disabled Veterans Can Now Get An Automatic Discharge Of Their Federal Student Loans

    Updated by Amy Loftsgordon, Attorney

    In the past, the student loan discharge process for disabled veterans generally involved filling out paperwork and submitting supporting documentation to the U.S. Department of Education. Veterans’ advocates often claimed that this process was too onerous for many severely disabled former servicemembers.

    To eliminate the burdensome application procedures, on August 21, 2019, former President Trump signed an executive order streamlining the process for getting a discharge. Now, totally and permanently disabled veterans can automatically get a discharge of their federal student loansunless they opt out of the process.

    How Do I Know If My Loans Have Been Forgiven

    If the Department of Education determines that you qualify for a TPD discharge, you’ll receive a notification that your loans have been forgiven or your TEACH Grant service obligation does not need to be completed. You’ll also receive a refund of any loan payments you made on or after the effective date of your disability certification.

    If you qualify due to SSA documentation or a physician’s certification, note that you will be subject to a three-year monitoring period. If you don’t meet certain conditions at any time during this period, your loan or grant service obligation will be reinstated.

    Reinstatement may occur if any of the following happens during the three-year period:

    • Your annual earnings from employment exceed the poverty guideline amount for a family of two in your state.
    • You receive a new federal student loan under the direct loan program or a new TEACH Grant.
    • You get another disbursement from a direct loan or TEACH Grant that was first disbursed before your discharge, and you don’t return it within 120 days.
    • The SSA notifies the Department of Education that you’re no longer disabled or that your next scheduled disability review will no longer be five to seven years from your last determination.

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    How To Get Navient Student Loan Forgiveness In 4 Steps

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    Higher education costs and increasing student loan debt has led to things like loan discharges and student loan forgiveness. One of the oldest companies to understand that and offer a solution was the Navient Student Loan Forgiveness program.

    How To Apply For A Federal Student Loan Disability Discharge

    Disabled Veteran Student Loan Forgiveness: Top 3 Reasons ...

    To apply for a total and permanent disability discharge, complete the TPD Discharge Application and submit it with any supporting documentation.

    The TPD Discharge Application is available in PDF format or through an interactive online tool on the web site. The online tool will prefill parts of the application form. Do not use a TPD Discharge Application available from other web sites, as they may not be current.

    You can also contact Nelnet, the servicer who processes TPD Discharge applications on behalf of the federal government, to ask for an application to be mailed to you. You can contact Nelnet by calling 1-888-303-7818, sending a fax to 1-303-696-5250 or sending email to .

    If you tell Nelnet that you will be submitting a TPD Discharge application, they will place your federal loans in forbearance for 120 days to give you time to complete the application form. After they receive the TPD Discharge application, your federal loans will remain in forbearance while the application is reviewed.

    Borrowers can also choose a representative to apply on their behalf. Unfortunately, the borrower will have to complete an Applicant Representative Designation form, even if the borrowers representative already has a power of attorney for the disabled borrower. Yes, you have to complete a form to let someone else complete forms on your behalf.

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    Proving Total And Permanent Disability

    Even though the recent executive order automating TPD discharges has been signed and implemented, some veterans may still have fallen through the cracks of the automation process and might be required to show their disability to receive relief.

    If you have a total and permanent disability and have not been directly contacted by the Department of Education or your loan servicer, you will need to send some documentation of your ailment at the time of your application.

    You can show disability in several ways:

    • Provide documentation from the VA that states you had a service-related disability, which was 100% prohibitive of employment. This document must also contain the effective date of the VAs disability determination.
    • Provide a doctors certification from a licensed M.D. or D.O. indicating your permanent disability and your inability to work because of it. This document must include a specific indication of a physical or mental impairment that you have already endured or can be expected to endure for a continuous period of at least 60 months or can be expected to result in death.

    You will not be required to submit documentation of your SSA disability determination. If, for any reason, you are receiving SSDI or SSI benefits, and your next scheduled disability review falls within that five-to-seven-year range, and you have not been contacted about a TPD discharge yet, you can apply using the standard application form.

    Tpd Discharge Application Denial

    If the TPD Discharge application is denied, the borrower can submit a new TPD Discharge application at any time. It is best to include new information about the disability that was not provided with the previous application.

    Note that if the previous TPD Discharge application was submitted less than 12 months ago, the borrower can ask Nelnet to reevaluate the discharge application without having to submit a new application.

    Borrowers who are actively being treated for cancer should consider applying for a cancer deferment.

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    Applying For Disability Discharge

    You should let Nelnet, the Department of Educations contractor, know that you want to apply.You can do this by phone or email. You can call seven days a week at 888-303-7818 or email at . You can also let Nelnet know you are applying by using the online disability discharge application. You can designate a representative to apply on your behalf. You must fill out the representation designation form available in English and Spanish on the Departments disability discharge web site.

    Once you let Nelnet know you are applying, they are supposed to do the following:

    1. Provide you with information you need to apply for a discharge if you do not already have it.

    2. Identify your federal student loans and/or TEACH Grant service obligation that may qualify for a discharge.

    3. Contact your loan holders and instruct them to suspend collection activity on your loans for a period of up to 120 days. This means that during the 120 day period, you will not be required to make payments on your loans. This gives you time to complete the discharge application, but collection will start up again if you do not submit an application within the 120 day period. The Department says that the suspension of collection does not include administrative wage garnishment or Treasury offsets. The Department or guaranty agencies for FFEL loans may, however, stop or reduce offsets during this period.

    Student Loan Disability Discharge Plus Alternatives

    Student loan forgiveness: Advocates push to forgive $8B in student debt held by disabled borrowers

    Dealing with federal and private student loans on top of a long-term disability can be a stressful situation, but there are some options to lessen the burden.

    Student loan forgiveness for disability via TPD is a great solution, but before you apply, make sure you meet the requirements. If you dont, consider other loan-management strategies to ease your repayment, including:

    You can suspend your loan payments. Interest will accrue on your balance .
    Income-driven repayment It will cap your monthly payment at a percentage of your income. It will also increase your interest costs.
    Consolidation and refinancing You can group your old loans into one new loan, and if you choose student loan refinancing, you may be able to lower your interest rate. If you refinance federal loans , youll lose protections like access to income-driven repayment.

    Know that even if you dont qualify for TPD student loan disability discharge or similar private lender support, you could still find student loan forgiveness programs that will slash or eliminate your debt balance.

    And there are other ways of getting debt-free, even beyond forgiveness check out our guide to student loan repayment for a look at some of your options.

    Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.

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