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Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

Servicemembers eligible for this benefit will have the interest rate capped at 6% for student loans incurred prior to their military service. Additionally, all costs and fees will be waived during their service. This benefit may be applied to federal loans no earlier than August 14, 2008.

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Eligibility Requirements
  • Must be a member of the uniformed services on active duty or absent from that duty due to sickness, wounds, leave, or other lawful cause; OR a U.S. citizen serving with a U.S. ally force in the prosecution of a war or military action, if such service is similar to "military service" as defined under the SCRA.

    Uniformed service includes:

    • Army
    • Navy
    • Air Force
    • Marines
    • Coast Guard
    • National Guard (must be called to active duty for more than 30 consecutive days by the President or Secretary of Defense for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds.)
    • Commissioned Officer of the Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Loans (including consolidation loans) must have been incurred prior to the date that you began serving on active duty.
How to apply

If we identify through the Department of Defense (DOD) website that you meet the eligibility requirements, we will automatically apply the SCRA benefit to your eligible loans. We will also continue monitoring your account to ensure that your interest rate does not exceed 6% and your fees and costs are waived while you are serving on active duty.

If you are unsure if you are receiving the SCRA benefit, you or a legal representative can call us toll free at 1-800-233-0557 for additional information.

If you are not receiving the SCRA benefit, you or a legal representative can apply for the SCRA benefit by one of the following methods:

You may send this information by one of the following methods:

Email: aescs@aessuccess.org

Fax: (717) 720-3916

Mail: American Education Services
ATTN: SCRA
P.O. Box 2461
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2461

To learn more about SCRA benefits, contact your Judge Advocate General's Corps Office.


Reduced Payment and Loan Forgiveness Options

There are options available to lower your monthly payment amount! You may even be eligible for partial or complete loan forgiveness.

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Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan

Under the IBR plan, your monthly payments are personalized just for you. The payments are based on your adjusted gross income, loan balance, family size, and your state of residence. This plan also offers loan forgiveness after 25 years of qualifying payments.

Income Sensitive Repayment

This repayment plan is only for FFELP loans and factors in your monthly gross income.

To see if any of these plans are viable options, check out the Manage Repayment tool in Account Access to get estimated monthly payment amounts.


Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge

You may qualify for Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge if you are a veteran who has been determined to be unemployable due to a service-connected condition.

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A TPD discharge cancels your obligation to repay the balance of your student loans. If you are a veteran, you must have documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) showing that the VA has determined that you are unemployable due to a service-connected disability.

Learn more about this program to see if you qualify.


Postponing Payments

As a servicemember, you may qualify for deferment or forbearance.

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Whether you qualify, and if a deferment or forbearance would assist you in repaying your student loans, depends on your circumstances. Please keep in mind that interest will still continue to accrue and may be capitalized (added to the principal balance of your loan(s)) at the end of any deferment or forbearance period. This may increase the amount you pay over the life of the loan.

Even though a deferment or forbearance may postpone your repayment obligation, we recommend exploring your repayment plan options first. Certain plans may offer you a lower payment option (as low as $0) and keep you on track to paying off your loans faster. You may even qualify to have a portion of your loan forgiven.

Sign in to Account Access and take our Eligibility Quiz to help you determine the best option to fit your circumstance.

Do you have Private Education Loans?

Find out what special benefits are available for these loans.

Learn More about Private Education Loans

Do you have Private Education Loans?

Find out what special benefits are available for these loans.

Learn More about Private Education Loans

Did You Know

If you choose to consolidate your federal student loans, you may be eligible for:

NOTE: You may lose your eligibility for SCRA if you consolidate your student loans.