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Old 01-09-2009, 09:02 AM
 
1,492 posts, read 6,775,071 times
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My daughter is in Baltimore today-just passed the ASVAB and is having her physical at MEPS.

She called last night saying the recruiter gave her a paper to sign saying she REJECTS the GI BILL and she turns in her promissory notes from her student loans and the Army will pay them. They total about 10-12k.

I advised her NOT to do that. She only has 2 years of school and I KNOW she may go to school after the Army. She said they pay up to 65k.... if she had 65k then sure....but to lose her GI Bill over 12k? Sounds like she's be on the losing side of the stick.

How can someone find out exactly what enlistment bonuses/incentives, etc. are out there? Please don't say the recruiter as that's like going to an auto dealership to find out what kind of car you'll buy. The best thing is do research FIRST and contact automakers directly for retabe/incentive info.

So, is there a place to find out about these bonuses....or bonuses attached to certain MOS'es.

Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Va Beach
3,508 posts, read 11,897,828 times
Reputation: 1010
Keep in mind the SRB's are over a period of time. Not upfront. Also, when applying for a security clearance and any credit while serving, it does make it hard if you have a balance on your student loans.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: AZ
1,046 posts, read 3,012,228 times
Reputation: 679
From what you wrote it already sounds like she is signing the paperwork today. The loan forgiveness is a BAD idea. The GI Bill is much more profitable to her.

The best thing for her to do would be to leave MEPS without signing a contract. I'm sure they will pressure her into signing up today. Once she signs her name she will be screwing herself out of any kind of bonus/incentives that are not already in her contract.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:06 AM
 
2,190 posts, read 6,772,218 times
Reputation: 1281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erma View Post
Keep in mind the SRB's are over a period of time. Not upfront. Also, when applying for a security clearance and any credit while serving, it does make it hard if you have a balance on your student loans.
The problem this logic is, SRB's always change...You have to anticipate that the bonuses will be there...Unless things have change recently, for a security clearance, you're fine. When you enlist, if you're over a certain age, they do a credit check...If you have bad credit you need a waiver. I'm going to use bankruptcies as examples as they're just about the worse things. There was a guy in my BMT flight who had two bankruptcies and was able to enlist with a waiver. I know of a E-3 who got a divorce, had no choice but to file bankruptcy and was able to crosstrain and obtain a top secret clearance in about a year. Now if they decided the divorce was a valid reason, i don't know. Point being, for a secret clearance having a balance and/or late payments, you have nothing to worry about.

OP...
There are some other factors to consider...I strongly recommend you verify with the recruiter...In fact, copy my text, print it out and go over it with your daughter and recruiter to determine the best option.

Let's say she enlists and takes the loan repay...If she enlists for a second term, she can then get the gi bill. But if she separates after the first enlistment she would never get. This does not work the other way, eg gi bill first and loan debt second.

The other thing to remember is all the military has the $4500 year tuition assistants...Typically she will be training for the first year and unable to attend college. But afer the first year, for a four year enlistment If your daughter has 40+ credits already, three years of $4500 is more than enough time and money to get her 4 year degree. Especially if she does distant learning/online schools so if she gets deployed she can continue studying. Also several online schools accept basic and AIT school credits!

The GI Bill isn't as great as everyone thinks...You have a choice of the new or old GI bill...The old GI bill currently deposits a fixed $13XX/mo into your bank account if you attend school full time, including online schools...Doesn't matter which school you go to or how expensive it is, you get $13XX if you're going full time, so it pays to be trifty. The new GI pays tuition to the school directly, the price is capped but it very high. If you do online schools, that's all the new gi bill pays for, tuition. Does not cover books or a housing allowance. If you attend the school in person, the gi bill pays the school directly for your books. It will also pay a monthly housing allowance. If you live somewhere where you have to pay rent, odds are you'd have to have a part time job...The housing allowance is on par with the rent in the area. Although, if one can find a friend or relative to stay with or get a roommate or two in an apt, life may be easier.

To summarize...Use or lose the $4500/year tuituion assistance. She should use that money, not her GI to get her bach degree. Because she's going to army, odds are very good she'll deploy and may not be able to attend traditional classes. Therefore online classes would be great. If she does online classes, she'll be able to find one's that accept army training credits. This ensures that she may have 40+, 60+, 80+ credits towards her four year degree. Use the tuition assistance for her 2nd-4th year which will knock out her bach. degree.

So here are the four senarios she will follow:

If she chooses the loan debt now and gets out in after four years, she has no student loan debt and a bach. degree.

If she chooses the loan debt now and reenlists, she has the same above, plus can apply for the GI Bill. She can actually continue onto her masters using the tuition assistance. Meaning she could really only use the gi bill for a doctorial

If she chooses the GI Bill and gets out after four, she can still get her bach degree with tuition assistance, but she'd have $12K debt that accrues interesed and a GI Bill that she can only use for her masters. She may not want to go to school anymore.

If she chooses the GI bill and stays in, after ten years of service you can transfer the bill to a dependent, but she's still have a $12K debt.

Just some things to think about...Let me know if you have any further questions..
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:58 AM
 
2,652 posts, read 7,638,586 times
Reputation: 1873
There is 1 thing your daughter MUST remember when talking to any recruiter (I'm a Coast Guard recruiter). SHE IS NOT OBLIGATED TO SIGN ANYTHING WHEN TAKING THE ASVAB AND PHYSICAL.

The recruiters will try to make her feel like they are doing her a favor by "letting" her test and physical. She doesn't have to sign up for any jobs, or make ANY decisions at MEPS. She can go there, test, physical, and leave without making ANY commitments.

As for the GI Bill, I would never recommend anyone reject it. The new one is really good. If I decide to get out, I'm going to chiropractic college (follow the old man's footsteps). The college is $19K per year, for 3 years.

So the new GI Bill will pay the highest in state tuition from a state college. So around $8K per year. Then will give me BAH (housing allowance) for an E-5, which is around $1000 per month where I'll be living. Plus $1,000 per year in book allowance. So it will pay almost all of even an expensive school. My wife will work so that will help a ton.

Also, I wouldn't pick a job based on bonuses. Typically, bonuses are given to jobs that are hard to fill. They are hard to fill for a reason.

Plus, SRB's (re-enlistment bonuses) and bonuses for affiliating with a certain job, are two different things.

Tuition assistance is ok, but what if she doesn't want to stay in the reserves after four years? Or what if she doesn't want to go to an online school while being in the Army?

In retrospect, $12,000 isn't really that much money. She needs to find out what HER, not the Army's, goals are. Then pick the program/service that best fits her needs/desires.

I always cringe when I hear people say you shouldn't use your GI BIll, and instead do the tuition assistance route. Why? If you are able to use the GI Bill, which essentially can pay a lot more than tuition assistance, why would you not use it. It's yours, you earned it. Use it. It's like money left on the table to not use it.

They're all great services, but some of them use "tactics" to meet their missions. Just beware of them, and remember, she's not obligated to sign ANYTHING. No matter what they tell her.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Earth
1,480 posts, read 4,365,982 times
Reputation: 1418
I'm collecting GI Bill now. With all the bumps, kickers, and improvements since 9/11, it can pay upwards around $1,800 per month. Your daughter could get over $12,000 back in the first year of school. And student loans are the lowest interest debt you'll find anywhere. With lending getting so tight these days, cash is king.

The invaluable benefit to the GI Bill is that it is incentive to go to school after the military. The thought of the government keeping my money was too much to bear - I'll have my bachelor's degree next spring.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:12 PM
 
1,492 posts, read 6,775,071 times
Reputation: 1419
Gosh, I wish I could contact her! She's at MEPS now...and if they put paper in front of her to sign...she just may do it- not knowing she doesn't have to.

I do know that it's the contract you sign at MEPS when you ship out-take the oath...that's the one that counts. So even if she does sign something today.... won't that be negotiable? - since she's not gonna ship out for a few weeks?

Please oh please say YES.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:29 PM
 
2,190 posts, read 6,772,218 times
Reputation: 1281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke9686 View Post
There is 1 thing your daughter MUST remember when talking to any recruiter (I'm a Coast Guard recruiter). SHE IS NOT OBLIGATED TO SIGN ANYTHING WHEN TAKING THE ASVAB AND PHYSICAL.

The recruiters will try to make her feel like they are doing her a favor by "letting" her test and physical. She doesn't have to sign up for any jobs, or make ANY decisions at MEPS. She can go there, test, physical, and leave without making ANY commitments.

As for the GI Bill, I would never recommend anyone reject it. The new one is really good. If I decide to get out, I'm going to chiropractic college (follow the old man's footsteps). The college is $19K per year, for 3 years.

So the new GI Bill will pay the highest in state tuition from a state college. So around $8K per year. Then will give me BAH (housing allowance) for an E-5, which is around $1000 per month where I'll be living. Plus $1,000 per year in book allowance. So it will pay almost all of even an expensive school. My wife will work so that will help a ton.

Also, I wouldn't pick a job based on bonuses. Typically, bonuses are given to jobs that are hard to fill. They are hard to fill for a reason.

Plus, SRB's (re-enlistment bonuses) and bonuses for affiliating with a certain job, are two different things.

Tuition assistance is ok, but what if she doesn't want to stay in the reserves after four years? Or what if she doesn't want to go to an online school while being in the Army?

In retrospect, $12,000 isn't really that much money. She needs to find out what HER, not the Army's, goals are. Then pick the program/service that best fits her needs/desires.

I always cringe when I hear people say you shouldn't use your GI BIll, and instead do the tuition assistance route. Why? If you are able to use the GI Bill, which essentially can pay a lot more than tuition assistance, why would you not use it. It's yours, you earned it. Use it. It's like money left on the table to not use it.

They're all great services, but some of them use "tactics" to meet their missions. Just beware of them, and remember, she's not obligated to sign ANYTHING. No matter what they tell her.
At no point did I say one should reject the GI bill...I did give directions that I thought would help the OP. I do feel that the best candidate to reject it would be a person with 60 credits, with debt which the debt payment is approved for and who does want to do online classes. I wouldn't even think of mentioning it unless all that critrea was met. The main question is, why did the person stop going to school and want join the military? Until a few years ago, the answer was most likely because they wanted something different than school. I tend to forgot that in todays economy, you get laid off and want job security. And again, if she does choose to take the debt payment upon her second enlistment she can take the GI Bill...If one likes online school and has a lot of credits, as long as they look into all the options taking he debt payment isn't always a bad thing.

With using the TA, there's also the free cleps/dsst's her bases will offer. I push TA because it's use or lose it. Transfer all the credits you can and knock out your bach. as soon as possible. If after you separate you want to go a better school, by all means go for it!

Too many variables with the new gi bill, but if you're single and want to live alone in an apartment, you'll need a job. If you maximize it, which not every wants to do, it is a great opportunity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastern Roamer View Post
I'm collecting GI Bill now. With all the bumps, kickers, and improvements since 9/11, it can pay upwards around $1,800 per month. Your daughter could get over $12,000 back in the first year of school. And student loans are the lowest interest debt you'll find anywhere. With lending getting so tight these days, cash is king.

The invaluable benefit to the GI Bill is that it is incentive to go to school after the military. The thought of the government keeping my money was too much to bear - I'll have my bachelor's degree next spring.
Ah, I did forget the army does pay more for the the old chap 30 gi bill...Other than that, I'm just curious, I only know of the pay $600 get $5400 tops up program, what else is there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VegasGrace View Post
Gosh, I wish I could contact her! She's at MEPS now...and if they put paper in front of her to sign...she just may do it- not knowing she doesn't have to.

I do know that it's the contract you sign at MEPS when you ship out-take the oath...that's the one that counts. So even if she does sign something today.... won't that be negotiable? - since she's not gonna ship out for a few weeks?

Please oh please say YES.
I was able to change something from my Meps into dep visit to my meps into ship out visit, but I'll bet Luke the recruiter is better with the details
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:31 PM
 
Location: vagabond
2,631 posts, read 4,831,021 times
Reputation: 1300
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJagMan View Post
The problem this logic is, SRB's always change...You have to anticipate that the bonuses will be there...Unless things have change recently, for a security clearance, you're fine. When you enlist, if you're over a certain age, they do a credit check...If you have bad credit you need a waiver. I'm going to use bankruptcies as examples as they're just about the worse things. There was a guy in my BMT flight who had two bankruptcies and was able to enlist with a waiver. I know of a E-3 who got a divorce, had no choice but to file bankruptcy and was able to crosstrain and obtain a top secret clearance in about a year. Now if they decided the divorce was a valid reason, i don't know. Point being, for a secret clearance having a balance and/or late payments, you have nothing to worry about.

OP...
There are some other factors to consider...I strongly recommend you verify with the recruiter...In fact, copy my text, print it out and go over it with your daughter and recruiter to determine the best option.

Let's say she enlists and takes the loan repay...If she enlists for a second term, she can then get the gi bill. But if she separates after the first enlistment she would never get. This does not work the other way, eg gi bill first and loan debt second.

The other thing to remember is all the military has the $4500 year tuition assistants...Typically she will be training for the first year and unable to attend college. But afer the first year, for a four year enlistment If your daughter has 40+ credits already, three years of $4500 is more than enough time and money to get her 4 year degree. Especially if she does distant learning/online schools so if she gets deployed she can continue studying. Also several online schools accept basic and AIT school credits!

The GI Bill isn't as great as everyone thinks...You have a choice of the new or old GI bill...The old GI bill currently deposits a fixed $13XX/mo into your bank account if you attend school full time, including online schools...Doesn't matter which school you go to or how expensive it is, you get $13XX if you're going full time, so it pays to be trifty. The new GI pays tuition to the school directly, the price is capped but it very high. If you do online schools, that's all the new gi bill pays for, tuition. Does not cover books or a housing allowance. If you attend the school in person, the gi bill pays the school directly for your books. It will also pay a monthly housing allowance. If you live somewhere where you have to pay rent, odds are you'd have to have a part time job...The housing allowance is on par with the rent in the area. Although, if one can find a friend or relative to stay with or get a roommate or two in an apt, life may be easier.

To summarize...Use or lose the $4500/year tuituion assistance. She should use that money, not her GI to get her bach degree. Because she's going to army, odds are very good she'll deploy and may not be able to attend traditional classes. Therefore online classes would be great. If she does online classes, she'll be able to find one's that accept army training credits. This ensures that she may have 40+, 60+, 80+ credits towards her four year degree. Use the tuition assistance for her 2nd-4th year which will knock out her bach. degree.

So here are the four senarios she will follow:

If she chooses the loan debt now and gets out in after four years, she has no student loan debt and a bach. degree.

If she chooses the loan debt now and reenlists, she has the same above, plus can apply for the GI Bill. She can actually continue onto her masters using the tuition assistance. Meaning she could really only use the gi bill for a doctorial

If she chooses the GI Bill and gets out after four, she can still get her bach degree with tuition assistance, but she'd have $12K debt that accrues interesed and a GI Bill that she can only use for her masters. She may not want to go to school anymore.

If she chooses the GI bill and stays in, after ten years of service you can transfer the bill to a dependent, but she's still have a $12K debt.

Just some things to think about...Let me know if you have any further questions..
great post. i hadn't realized that the new gi bill had changed so much. kinda makes me jealous now. i'm currently putting the old gi bill through its paces, and it is serving well. but i still have to pay housing and books myself.

aaron out.
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:06 PM
 
2,652 posts, read 7,638,586 times
Reputation: 1873
Also, if she signs something at MEPS, she can get out of it. If anything, it's most likely the DEP contract. If they did DEP her, she can always say she doesn't want to do it. They'll tissy fit around, trying to say she "has" to join, but she doesn't.
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