Earnest offers a few different benefits for military service members.
Military Service Deferment:
You're eligible for a military service deferment at Earnest if all of the following are true:
- You have an Earnest personal loan, private student loan, or student loan refinance.
- You're currently serving on active duty or performing qualifying National Guard duty.
- Your service is during a war, other military operation, or national emergency.
If you meet these requirements, you're eligible for a deferment during both the period of active duty itself and for an additional 180-day period following the demobilization date for your qualifying service.
The SCRA Interest Rate Cap:
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) interest rate cap is available for personal loans, private student loans and student loan refinances for both eligible borrowers and cosigners. Interest on loans obtained prior to your active duty military service is limited to 6% during periods of active duty. (If your existing interest rate is less than 6%, it will not change.) You won’t be assessed service charges, renewal charges, fees, or any other charges while taking advantage of this benefit. This benefit applies to loans that were disbursed prior to active-duty service.
How to Receive SCRA Benefits:
Most service members will receive the SCRA Interest Rate Cap automatically as of the date of the start of active service. We partner with our parent company, Navient, to proactively cross-reference our client database with the Department of Defense Service Member Database to identify individuals who are eligible servicemembers and automatically apply the benefit to your Earnest-serviced student loans. If you think you're eligible for the SCRA benefit and are not receiving it, please contact us at your earliest convenience by email at email@example.com or by phone at 855-284-4879. We are available Monday from 8 A.M. to 9 P.M., Tuesday through Wednesday from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M., and Thursday through Friday from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M., ET. If you are currently abroad, please use our international number at 001-888-272-5543.
We require a completed request form to process a request to implement deferment. The form is available at the bottom of this article. To apply, first download and complete the form. Then, email the form to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send it by fax to 1-800-848-1949.
Please note that all changes to your payment schedule may take up to 5 business days to implement. Requests received on or before the fifth business day prior to your Auto Payment will be implemented for your current Auto Payment. Starting on the fourth business day before, we'll start processing the request right away, but the change may or may not go into effect for your current Auto Payment. If filing the request at that point, please be prepared for the possibility that your upcoming Auto Payment amount will be pulled.
Finally, please note that if you are currently serving on active duty in the military and you obtain a new loan (including a refinance loan), you will lose benefits under the SCRA, such as the 6% interest rate cap.
Using Third Parties to Manage Your Loan During Deployment:
If it will be difficult for you to manage your loan while deployed, it may be worth considering granting power of attorney to someone you trust. This will allow them to manage your financial matters, including your student loans, while you’re deployed or unavailable to manage them yourself. The person you designate will be able to sign documents and act on your behalf.
The legal assistance office on your military base can help you establish a power of attorney. When you have completed the document, send it, along with a copy of your military orders, to our Pennsylvania address:
Attention: Military Processing
PO Box 9640
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9640
Alternatively, you can fax the documents to us: 1-800-848-1949. You can also authorize us by phone or in writing to speak to a third party on your behalf. Keep in mind that this person would be eligible to receive information about your account but would not be able to make changes to your account or sign on your behalf. For information on authorizing a third party, click here.