News Column


July 1, 2014

(U.S. SENATE) -Senator Jon Tester is pushing a bill that removes unnecessary stress from our nation's military men and women before they deploy: making monthly student loan payments.

Tester's Service Member Student Loan Relief Act would allow military members to apply for deferment of their student loans 180 days before deployment when they are often going through basic training and preparing to deploy. Currently, service members can only seek deferment during deployment and immediately after they return home.

Tester's bill was filed as an amendment to legislation that authorizes funding for the U.S. Department of Defense in 2015.

"When our fighting men and women prepare to go into harm's way, the last thing on their mind should be making their student loan payments on time," said Tester, a senior member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. "This bill will allow our service members to focus on doing their duty without worrying about their credit rating."

Senator Tester first heard of this issue when Natalie Jennings of Bozeman contacted his office. Jennings had to take a second job to help her son, Justin, pay his student loans while he was in boot camp before being deployed.

"As a single mom who worked hard to make sure my son got a solid start in life, it was tragic to learn that he could default on his student loans while preparing for combat," Jennings said. "I appreciate Senator Tester introducing a bill to help ensure that what happened to my family won't happen to other service members and their families."

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Source: Congressional Documents & Publications

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