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Interest on student loans has been retroactively waived by the Office of Federal Student Aid at the Department of Education for more than 47,000 current and former active-duty service members.

Service members deployed to areas where they’re subject to the threat of physical harm or imminent danger are eligible to have no interest accrue on certain federal loans, but they had to individually request the benefit, so only a small portion of those eligible were able to access it. The department is now utilizing data matching with the Department of Defense to provide the interest waiver to service members automatically.

“Brave men and women in uniform serving our country can now focus on doing their jobs and coming home safely, not filling out more paperwork to access their hard-earned benefits,” said Richard Cordray, chief operating officer at FSA. “Federal Student Aid is grateful for our strong partnership with the Department of Defense, and we will seek to reduce red tape for service members wherever possible.”