The Service-member Civil Relief Act and You
You may have paid enough attention during one of the initial finance briefs to hear about the Service-member Civil Relief Act – SCRA.
SCRA can help you a lot in more ways than you can imagine. SCRA is a program that provides certain protections with loans and debts for servicemembers who are called to Active Duty.
What is SCRA?
The Too Long; Didn’t Read (TL;DR) version of SCRA:
Helps you break leases, protects you from foreclosures, repossessions, and evictions.
Helps lower loan interest to at least 6% for loans that were started before joining the military. (many banks such as USAA, Chase, and American Express lower interest rates to 4% and 0%)
Helps refund fees and interest you paid from the day you join the military and Today.
Allows you to delay payment on loans without impacting your credit.
Many banks waive fees including Annual Card Fees.*
Example of Waiving Annual Fees and Interest with the Best Card for Military Members
* There are some great credit cards available that have high annual fees which are waived with SCRA.
The benefits include $15 monthly uber credit, pretty great purchase protection, free Boingo, free lounge use at airports, 200 annual credit to use on your flight, no limit, and other stuff.
How To Maximize the value of the AmEx Platinum Card
What can SCRA do for Me?
The SCRA can postpone or suspend financial or civil obligations to prevent you from being taken advantage of while on active duty and away from home. Taken from Military.com
Protections offered by the SCRA include:
- Prevents your landlord from evicting you unless the rent is higher than $3,451.20 per month (this amount changes every year)
- Stops foreclosures without a court order
- Your vehicle can’t be repossessed without a court order if you made a deposit, or at least one payment before you joined
- You can’t be taken to court for civil proceedings, this includes divorce and child support hearings
- Keeps the owner of a self-storage facility from selling your belongings for overdue rent without a court order
Benefits offered by the SCRA include:
- Lets you to terminate your current cell phone contract if you relocate for at least 90 days to a location that doesn’t have coverage under your current cell phone provider
- Lets you end a vehicle lease you signed before joining if you are mobilized, PCS OCONUS, or deploy OCONUS for at least 180 days
- Lets you end a housing lease without penalty if you deploy for 90 days or more
- Limits interest on all loans taken out before joining the military to 6 percent. This includes auto loans, mortgages, student loans, credit cards, etc.
- Also, it says that if you use any of your SCRA rights and delay payments it won’t reflect on your credit report