Service Member Benefits
CornerStone appreciates the sacrifices you make for our country and are here to ensure you have the support you need to successfully repay your student loans. Our team of dedicated student loan specialists can navigate military benefits, review repayment options, and even help you manage your student loans while you are far from home. For your convenience, we’ve put together a list of Servicemember Benefits, as well as some great tips and resources. If you have any questions or you would like assistance, please contact us on our dedicated servicemember help line.
In acknowledgement of your service to our country, there are special benefits and repayment options for your student loans. Contact us for additional information on these options, including eligibility information and what documentation you should provide to receive the benefit.
|Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Interest Rate Cap||Interest on federal student loans obtained prior to your military service is limited to 6% during periods of active duty. The interest rate limitation also applies to any private education loan you may have.|
|Military Service Deferment||You can postpone federal student loan repayment during certain periods of active duty, such as during war, other military operation, national emergency, and immediately following active duty.|
|Public Service Loan Forgiveness||You may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of your Direct Loans when you’ve made 120 qualifying payments after October 1, 2007, while employed in public service, including military service.|
|Post-Active Duty Deferment||You can postpone repayment while you prepare to return to school following your active duty.|
|Veterans Total and Permanent Disability Discharge||If you have a service-connected disability, you may qualify for a complete or partial discharge of your federal student loans. The Department of Veterans Affairs will automatically notify us if they have determined that you qualify for this discharge; however, you can also start the process yourself by visiting DisabilityDischarge.com.|
|Repayment Based on Income||Repayment plans that base your monthly payment on your income are available. Under these plans, you may qualify for a low or zero payment amount with the possibility of forgiveness of the remaining balance in the future.|
|HEROES Act Waiver||While you are on active duty, the Department of Education waives many of the documentation requirements attached to the program benefits mentioned above. For example, if you are on a payment plan based on your income and your military service prevents you from providing updated information regarding your family size and income, you can request to have your monthly payment amount maintained.|
|Department of Defense (DOD) Repayment of Your Loans||In certain circumstances, as determined by the DOD, all or a portion of your loans may be repaid by the DOD. You will need to reach out to your commanding officer to determine if you are eligible for DOD Repayment. This benefit is only available for Federal loans.|
|0% Interest Rate Benefit||If you are serving in a hostile area that qualifies you for special pay, you may qualify for a 0% interest rate on Direct Loans made on or after October 1, 2008, for up to 60 months.
You must meet the following criteria to qualify:
• Your loans were disbursed on or after October 1, 2008.
• You qualify for the Military Service Deferment AND
• You serve in an area of hostilities in which service qualifies for special pay under Section 310 Title 37 of the U.S. Code.
If you are unsure if you are receiving special pay, you can find it in your orders or by reaching out to your commanding officer.
Tips for Servicemembers
- Update your contact information: Before you leave on deployment, log into your online account and make sure your address, phone number and email address are current. Having this information current will help you keep yourself up-to-date. Be sure to set up your online account if you haven’t already.
- Designate someone as an authorized third-party: Authorize a trusted individual to manage your account while you’re away. This could be your spouse, parents or someone else you trust. Just remember, although authorized third parties can receive specific information about your account, they can’t make changes to your account. You can download the authorization form here. Once you complete the form send it to the Correspondence address on our Contact Us page.
- Designate a Power of Attorney: You may not always have reliable access to communicate while on active duty. Consider granting power of attorney to an individual you trust to allow them to manage your financial matters, including your student loans. The person to whom you give power of attorney can sign documents and act on your behalf. The legal assistance office on your military base can assist with establishing a power of attorney.
- Make interest payments: Even if you have military deferment time available to you, this will keep your balance from increasing and could save you money in the long run.
- Review your repayment options: Repayment plans based on your income may qualify you for a lower monthly payment and loan forgiveness.
- Sign up for automatic payments: Keep your loan in good standing by ensuring your payment is made each month.
- Place an active duty alert on your credit report: By placing an active duty alert on your credit report, it can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. When a business sees an active duty alert on your credit report, it must verify your identity before issuing additional credit lines. You may designate a personal representative (a spouse or another trusted person) who can act on your behalf to verify your identity or remove your active duty alert if needed.
Useful Student Loan Resources
Federal Student Aid
|Learn more about repayment plans, deferment, forbearance, and other options to help you repay your federal student loans.|
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®)
|Find out who is servicing your federal loans with NSLDS’s comprehensive database.|
DOD Student Loan Repayment Program
|Information and resources for student loan repayment in various service branches.|
Equifax - Equifax.com
Experian - Experian.com
TransUnion - Transunion.com
|These are nationwide consumer reporting agencies where you can place an active duty alert on your credit report.|
Veterans Disability Discharge Program
|Get more information on loan discharge for disabled veterans.|