Air Force Nursing Bonus, Student Loan Repayment - page 5

I am considering joining the air force as a nurse and I have been told that all slots are full for student loan repayment for this fiscal year (2009). But that the bonus is still available. I know... Read More

  1. by   carolinapooh
    Regarding the post on FY2009's offerings: No, that's not was available in FY2009, because that's not what I got.

    Three years - the minimum commitment - got me a $30K signing bonus. When I get to my first base (Lackland, in my case), I can APPLY for the loan repayment. IF I receive it, I will get up to $40K in loan repayment and a $20K bonus, and I'll owe the AF six years in return should I accept the deal.

    I was accepted to COT in June of 2009 and will go in October.
  2. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from mobro
    via my recruiter for 2009 a three year contract gave you loan repayment only, four years got you the 30,000 bonus, and six years got you both. is that what that is saying? the last part makes it look like any contract length gets you the bonus? "If no HPLRP was taken, the full $30,000 lump sum bonus is offered for each qualified nurse accession."

    (i'm mostly interested because i only have $5000 in loans so the bonus is clearly a better deal. but if i can sign a shorter contract for the same amount of money that would make more sense and then sign on for more time later)
    See my above post for what we got last year, and think carefully about how you take your money. It's not the same amount based on taxation.

    The bonus will be taxed at a rate approaching fifty percent because it's a bonus and because of its size. You'll pay taxes on the loan repayment but at a lower rate because it's less money (they only pay you enough to pay off your loans). It may behoove you to accept both the repayment and the bonus deal because you'll pay less taxes that way - if you're going to give the AF the time anyway.

    (And yes, I did the math. I know how the bonuses are taxed because I know what happened to mine from my hospital - they gave me eleven grand and I walked off with about six after Uncle Sam and the Great State of NC took more than their share.)

    I owe nineteen grand in loans and plan on taking both if I get it. I'd probably skank enough on the $30K to just about pay my debt off (I will no longer have to pay state income tax once I go active duty b/c of my home of record - which WON'T be NC! - so there's a huge chunk I won't lose), and if that's all I end up with I'll be thrilled, but I'd rather have twelve grand in the bank with my name on it as well.
  3. by   mobro
    so with my recruiter the other day i signed a paper turning down the loan repayment but accepting the bonus if offered. that doesn't guarantee my length of contract then? when do i find out for sure what bonus i'll get and the length of contract? i'm sure that's up to me about how long i want to serve but i feel like that should be something i sign somewhere along the way...
    the only thing i've signed in reference to length of contract was a little blip that said my minimum contract would be 36 months. the other loan repayment/bonus stuff was just a generic form saying i would or would not accept the loan repayment or bonus- but there was no info on length of contract on that form. does that sound familiar...?
    Last edit by mobro on Sep 28, '09
  4. by   carolinapooh
    The form with the accept/don't accept is the AF's way of covering their butts. I signed the same thing.

    Basically you've committed to a three year contract and have accepted the minimum offering, which right now is a sign on bonus. The paper (the one you put all the initials on) says you're not being offered the loan repayment because right now they simply don't have it. BUT - you'll accept the loan repayment IF you receive it and if you do, you'll sign a new commitment for a minimum of six years, and that the option of applying for it once you get to your first base exists.

    The way the thing is worded it sounds like you've done the opposite - but you haven't. You've initialed about fifty lines and that's the gist of it.

    Once you're accepted, you'll get an email from someone down at AFPC at Randolph, reminding you that you're eligible to apply for the loan repayment and telling you how to do it. Once you get that, respond ASAP. Once you get to your first base, I think it's a thirty day window to apply for the repayment. My recruiter said (as did her flight chief) that she's not heard of anyone being turned down for it that's applied for it after the fact.
  5. by   IronhorseBSN
    I am new to this forum, but I saw this blog and wanted to ask questions. I have been working with an Air Force recruiter since August, and the recruiter just now sent my application to MEPS. How long will it take for this process? What about selection? I am guessing I have to wait until the December Selection Boards???
  6. by   Spencer2002
    Everyone at work keeps telling me how smart I was for joining the AF for the long term benefits. I just wonder how realistic is to last 20 years in the AF??? My dad did it and I never heard him complain about the time he served. He actually told me that at the end of the day he is very thankful for his pension.
  7. by   carolinapooh
    I come from a huge career military family, so my perspective is a bit biased. Spending twenty years in the Air Force is as realistic a goal as spending twenty years anywhere else - but I think it's a more realistic one in the military than outside of it.

    Here's what I saw during the time I was raised Navy and during my active time in the AF:

    You are going to do the same job in the Air Force for twenty years that you would do for twenty years/to retirement anywhere else. The difference is this: you have less chance for the AF to get boring.

    Don't like an assignment? Put in for orders out. Want to live overseas? Change your dream sheet. Want to continue your education? Let Uncle Sam pick up the bill. No, it's not that easy, and as we all know it doesn't happen quickly, but it's easier to do stuff like that within the military than it is on the outside.

    Twenty years on the outside - you'll work seven, eight different places; you'll lose benefits every time you switch jobs; you have to transfer IRAs and 401Ks; you have to pay to move your stuff if you relocate. If you move, you may have to take a pay cut. If you change jobs, you may have to take a pay cut. You may have to wait years for an appreciable pay raise. And you'll find yourself scrambling for retirement as that time approaches - you'll spend your last ten working years worrying about your bottom line and you'll be working until you're sixty-five - maybe even later. And Medicare - trust me, Medicare's a joke. I don't know how people make it with only Medicare. Tricare's not perfect, but I can assure you it's infinitely better than relying on Medicare.

    There will be days you'll have nothing positive to say about the Air Force. You'll say they suck and that the Pentagon has no idea how things REALLY work (they don't, they really don't, but that's another story - LOL). You'll think, 'one more uniform reg change and I'll come to work in a bathing suit with a towel wrapped around my head'. You'll tell a coworker that if Washington had common sense, we'd be in more danger than we already are. There will be days you will hate your commander, your supervisor, the President, the Secretary of the Air Force, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - all equally. There will be days you're convinced your life is not your own and you MUST have "PROPERTY OF THE PENTAGON" tattooed SOMEWHERE on your body - you may even catch yourself LOOKING for it in the shower.

    But most of that kind of stuff will happen anywhere eventually.

    And then there will be the day you're running an errand after work and a complete stranger stops you to thank you for serving your country. And that WON'T happen anywhere else.

    All of this is why I spent the last five years trying to get back in.
    Last edit by carolinapooh on Sep 29, '09
  8. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from IronhorseBSN
    I am new to this forum, but I saw this blog and wanted to ask questions. I have been working with an Air Force recruiter since August, and the recruiter just now sent my application to MEPS. How long will it take for this process? What about selection? I am guessing I have to wait until the December Selection Boards???
    I wouldn't expect to make December boards. I'd be thinking maybe February. If you make December boards (I'm wondering if there is even a board in December) it'll be a bonus.

    The entire Fed basically shuts down for two weeks in December (and they swear this isn't the case, but really, trying to get anything done in the operational Air Force in December is near impossible), so nothing gets done then. And really, nothing gets done the week of Thanksgiving, either - so you're out a month from the start.

    If I remember right, you should have a date for your physical in about two weeks. Then that has to be processed as well - give that another two weeks. After you're physically qualified (and the whole two weeks thing is assuming you have no waivers to process), you'll get a date for an interview with a chief nurse. Given how close you'll be to the holidays, that might be what holds you up. I was due for an interview in December, the colonel had to cancel, and I didn't get an interview until the end of January. My package went to Randolph in February and wasn't reviewed by a board until June - they lost a chunk of my paperwork down there and it had to be reaccomplished (fortunately I had copies - GET COPIES OF THAT PACKAGE BEFORE IT LEAVES YOUR RECRUITER'S OFFICE - have your OWN copies, not just the ones your recruiter has) AND my recruiter screwed a couple of things up. My husband and I had given up hope - and then out of the blue we got the call.

    It took me just shy of a year to complete the whole process. Some of it was my fault, some of it was my recruiter's fault, and some of it just happened. I'm not trying to be negative; I only want you to be prepared for what may be a longer ride than you expected.
  9. by   mobro
    assuming everything goes ok and i get accepted, will i get a call from my recruiter telling me i'm accepted and then we'll get together to tell me what base i'm going to and to accept a length of contract and commission?? or how does that work exactly...
  10. by   jentrump29
    I just got my phone call last thursday...YAY!!!! My recruiter knew selection status, base assignment, and COT date. I had to go to his office within five days to sign the acceptance letter. He said that would hold my spot for January. When I went to his office, we did fingerprinting and background check. Next, we're waiting on my name to go into the system (can't remember the name) so that we can set up a commission date. I don't think you sign the official contract until you sign commission paperwork (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Hope that helps!! I so excited about commissioning, but I feel like I have no idea what to do next!! Hurry up and wait, I guess

    Question...has anyone heard yet what the bonus/student loan repayment is for the upcoming fiscal year?? It's almost October. I thought we'd know something by now!
  11. by   Spencer2002
    Are we going to have any further lab testing, screenings, UA....stuff like that at COT?
  12. by   carolinapooh
    I don't know the answer to that last question re: labs - I do know we did in Basic Training, so my assumption is we will at COT. On that note, be sure you take any immunization records you have or they'll make you get all of them all over again when you get there.

    Jen - the system you're waiting on could be RAPIDS (Real-time Automated Personnel IDentification System), DEERS (Defense Eligibility and Enrollment Reporting System), or just the big Air Force Personnel system in the sky (LOL) - usually called AFPC - Air Force Personnel Center, which is where all your paperwork is being processed. That's at Randolph AFB in San Antonio, Texas.
    Last edit by carolinapooh on Sep 29, '09
  13. by   carolinapooh
    Quote from jenhasredhair
    I just got my phone call last thursday...YAY!!!! My recruiter knew selection status, base assignment, and COT date. I had to go to his office within five days to sign the acceptance letter. He said that would hold my spot for January. When I went to his office, we did fingerprinting and background check. Next, we're waiting on my name to go into the system (can't remember the name) so that we can set up a commission date. I don't think you sign the official contract until you sign commission paperwork (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Hope that helps!! I so excited about commissioning, but I feel like I have no idea what to do next!! Hurry up and wait, I guess

    Question...has anyone heard yet what the bonus/student loan repayment is for the upcoming fiscal year?? It's almost October. I thought we'd know something by now!
    YAY!! You're in!!!

    You'll resign (read: re-sign) a whole bunch of stuff at your commissioning.

    The fiscal year does not officially start until 01 October and the budget won't be finalized (usually) until a couple of days after that. (Surprise, surprise: the Fed runs in the red for several days at the start of the new year.) My guess is we won't hear until mid-month.
    Last edit by carolinapooh on Sep 29, '09

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