Servicemembers Civil Relief Act – Military Members Can Receive Reduced Interest Rates

In 2003, President Bush signed into law the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The SCRA further clarified and solidified the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) which benefits active duty military members and was signed into law in 1940. The bill was most recently updated in 2012, and can be found here.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

There are many benefits that servicemembers can receive as under this law.

  • 6% cap on interest rates for pre-service debt and obligations
  • Delay of all legal civil actions during time of war
  • Requiring court action before servicemember or family can be evicted from a rental property if the rent is less than $2900 (adjusted annual for inflation)
  • Termination of pre-service residential lease, or termination of lease in the event of a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or deployment longer than 90 days.
  • Termination of auto lease under certain circumstances
  • Guard and Reserve benefits

Interest Rate Reduction: To cap interest rates on debts or obligations to 6% per year, the debt must have been incurred before the servicemember entered military service. This can include credit card debt, car loans, student loans, mortgage payments, etc. This is not a deferral of interest, but an actual reduction. This does not apply to any debt received after joining the military. To reduce your interest, you must contact the financial institution in writing and provide them with a copy of your orders. This reduced interest rate will only apply while the member is still in the service, so pay it off quickly!

Learn more about getting reduced interest rates through the SCRA.

Delay of Civil Actions: In a time of war, soldiers who deploy can delay legal civil actions against them until they return home from the war. These can include bankruptcy, foreclosure, and divorce proceedings. This was enacted to allow the soldier to concentrate on the war effort, and not have to focus on legal proceedings back home. (My guess is they still worry about it, they just won’t have to deal with the legal proceedings until they return home).

Court Action to Evict: During time of war, servicemembers’ families cannot be evicted from a rental property if the rent is less than $2400 monthly. This is to prevent the servicemember from dealing with an eviction while he is off doing his duty for his country. There is an escalator clause which will provide for increases to the rent ceiling in future years.

Termination of Residential Lease: Servicemembers can break a pre-service lease without penalty when they join the service. This is an obvious law which prevents new recruits from being penalized upon joining the military. The new law formally recognizes what was commonly written into lease agreements as a ‘military clause.’ The military clause allowed the servicemember to break his lease without penalty for PCS or deployments longer than 90 days. The military clause is no longer required in a lease agreement because it is now a law.

Termination of Auto Lease: The servicemember and his family can terminate auto leases if he receives PCS orders overseas, or deployment orders for 180 days or more.

Guard and Reserve Benefits: All of these laws apply to the Guard and Reserve, but there are a few small differences. The Guard must be activated for a minimum of 30 days to be eligible. Guard and Reserve members can also terminate auto leases if they are activated for 180 days or more. The law does not state they must be deployed.

Get out of Cell Phone Contracts. The SCRA doesn’t specifically allow service members to cancel their cell phone contracts at will, but there are several ways for military members to cancel cell phone contracts or to cancel your cell phone contract without any fees.

And More… There are many other benefits that can be found within the SCRA. Contact your base legal department for more information, or read here. If you are considering joining the military, talk to a recruiter. (But remember, recruiters are not legal aides. Request them to direct you to someone who knows the facts!).

Image credit, Department of Justice (image in public domain).

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Date published: December 12, 2007. Last updated: September 15, 2015.

Article by

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is currently serving in the IL Air National Guard. He also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google.


  1. Justin says

    what about military members who get orders for overseas for 3-4 years and have a car loan not a lease? None of the websites I have visited have addressed this problem.

    • says

      Good question, Justin. It depends on the terms of your loan. Some lenders will not allow you to take your car overseas while there is still a loan on it. I recommend contacting your lender for more information about that aspect.

      Can you lower the interest rate if you move overseas? Again, I am not sure. If you had the loan before you joined the military, then probably. If you got the loan after you joined, then maybe not.

      I know this is not a concrete answer, but there are details I don’t know, and other circumstances that may come into play. Your best bet is to contact your lender, and possibly your base legal office.

      Good luck, and thanks for serving! :-)

  2. steven says

    someone told me that while i was deployed i could get my intrest rate redueced on my current car loan. is this true even if i purchased it ofter i joined the army?

  3. Adrienne Berg says

    Can you please tell me if the 2003 SCRA signed by Bush on section 533 for home foreclosure that is now 9 months after deployment is going to be 3 months again. (because it was due to expire on Dec 2010) Will it be revised again for 9 months or go back to 3 months.

    Thank You

  4. Melvin rosado says

    I will be deploying soon. I’m in the guard and just leased a brand new car. May I terminate my lease without getting penalized for it?

    • says

      Melvin, these situations are often on a case by case basis. generally if you are deploying for a long term assignment or moving overseas, then you would be able to. But if you just want out of a lease because you don’t want to be in it any more and you aren’t physically leaving the area, then you may not be able to. My recommendation is to contact the dealership where you have your lease or contact your base legal department. Best of luck.

  5. Moses Briseno says

    If I’m active duty and I receive orders to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan I’m I eligible to receive the soldiers and sailors act while i’m deployed? I’m having a difficult time receiving an answer. Can you please respond to me in a timely manner since I will be leaving soon. Thank you for your time

    • says


      Thank you for contacting me. It depends on what we are talking about. If it is a legal proceeding, then yes, these protections would apply when you deploy. If we are talking about debt, then it depends. If the debts were incurred before you joined the service, then you can get all of those reduced. If the debts were incurred after you joined the service, then I’m not positive. However, some financial institutions will give service members a break while they are deployed, either by reducing interest rates while you are deployed, or reducing minimum payments. This is a case where it pays to give your lender a call and see what they can do for you. Additionally, if you are looking at credit cards, then I recommend looking at these 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards, which allow you to transfer your balances to a 0% interest rate to help you pay them off more quickly.

      Best of luck and thanks for your service!

      • Christa Lothes says

        I called USAA when I deployed to Afghanistan and they reduced my interest rate while I was deployed.

  6. Ronny says

    Hey , I’m deploying to afhganistan in the fall but I finance a car in december last year, I have no body to look after or when I’m gone . Can I return my car to the dealer where I bought from without getting penalize …. It’s a finance not a lease so I’m worry cuz I havent find no answer yet

    • says

      Ronny, I don’t believe you will be able to return the vehicle since it is a purchase and not a lease. I recommend looking into a long term storage arrangement, or you could try to sell it if you don’t want to put it in storage. Best of luck on your deployment and thanks for your service!

  7. Jonathan Frank says

    I leased a Honda two weeks ago and everything was fine until last night when the dealership called me and said that Honda has decided to not lease me the car since I am in the military. They are now giving me the option to buy the car instead of leasing. That is not something I am interested in doing. Have you ever dealt with anything like this? What options do I have?

    • says

      Jonathan, I am not aware of any legal recourse a company has to cancel a lease simply because you are in the military. It’s possible it could even be against the law, but I don’t know for certain.

      The first thing I would do is contact your base legal office and see if your judge advocates have any advice for you. Many times the base legal departments don’t get involved with these things, but in other cases they may be able to at least give you advice on what the law states.

      Beyond that, my recommendation is to thoroughly read your lease agreement and look for any clauses which might relate to military service and/or the ability of the leasing company to cancel the lease.

      And I certainly wouldn’t buy a car simply because they prefer to sell you a car versus lease you a car. If they insist on having your return the car, then offer to return it to them for a 100% credit of your money including all signing costs, down payments, taxes, etc. (make sure you aren’t out a single cent when it is all said and done).

      Then take your business elsewhere – they don’t deserve your business if they insist on treating you that way.

    • says

      Hello Pablo, the 6% interest rate only applies to loans you took out before you joined the military; it does not apply to any loans you took out after you joined the military.

      So the short answer is, if you had the loan before you signed up, then yes, it should apply, and the lower interest rate should be in effect until you separate from the military. If you took out the loan after you joined, then you may not be able to reduce your interest rate.

      That said, I recommend contacting your lender to see if they can work with you. Some lenders will reduce interest rates while the borrower is deployed. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

  8. thomas says

    I am supposed to deploy to afganistan in january, and from what i have read the only way to get out of my car lease is only if your orders are for 180 days or more. Is this a true statement because i know in some cases your orders will say 179 days for a 6 month deployment. Thank your for your help.

  9. Candace says

    My husband went into basic training on the 31st of October. By the time he got the first half check we were two payments behind on our vehicle payment. Now we are four payments behind waiting on a bank loan and another full check to get caught up. They are threatening to have my vehicle repoed due to not being able to pay a full 200.00 payment. What can I do? Is there anything that protects us from this happening?

    • says


      My recommendation is to contact your lender and let them know the full situation – what is happening and why. Many lenders are understanding when they know they will get their money.

      You can also talk to them about reducing your interest rate if it is above 6%.

      The most important thing you can do right now to avoid a repo is to open the lines of communication.

  10. miguel carmona says

    to candace dec 8 2011 posting. …. contact lender, advise of situation, request assistance for a 2month deferment or even a 3month deferement.

  11. miguel carmona says

    or go to your local VFW american legion post and ask for assistance. online look for veterans assistance grant application …the grant is for $1000.00 dd 214 and military id will be needed. at least in the state of texas. not sure on your state. hope this helps others also.

  12. Marissa says

    Hey Ryan…I found this very informative. I know you said that even if the lease does not have a military clause, we are still protected under this act but what if our lease does have a military clause but it states that the active duty member can only break the lease on PCS or deployment order but not on ETS orders? Our landlord said that if our orders do not say PCS that we are responsible for the remainder of our lease but we don’t plan on staying here when my husband ETS’. Our we still covered by this act with ETS orders?

    • says

      Marissa, to be honest, I don’t have a clear answer for you. I would think that the lease you signed is designed to protect both parties in the event you are required to move for a PCS or deployment, but an ETS doesn’t fall into that situation. Your best bet may be to contact your base legal department for clarification. You can also try contacting your landlord and asking him/her if you can come up with a solution that works for everyone. Some people are willing to work with you if you give them enough notice. Best of luck.

      • Marissa says

        Yeah I talked to our landlord and she said unless it states PCS orders that we have to pay over 2 grand for the remainder of our lease. I asked her what she did with military members who were retiring and returning to her home of record but she said it didn’t matter. I didn’t think it was fair at all because a active duty member should not be confined to a state due to an apartment lease, especially if the active duty member completed the terms of his contract with the military. My husband and I are originally from Hawaii but our home of record is Alaska. There are no jobs here where we are at so we need to move where we can get steady income. Especially having three little ones to take care of. I talked to another tenant who was a JAG officer and she said that we can get our orders to state PCS/ETS but not sure who we talk to for that. I just hope we don’t get stuck here in this state…we need some place warm. lol

  13. Drew says

    Hello Ryan,

    My landlord is withholding our security depost because we terminated our rental agreement. We gave the proper written notice and supplied him with all of the PCS paperwork. However, he is saying that because on the PCS forms it states in section (b)”you are not authorized shipment of household goods and relocation of family members” that we are not covered by the SCRA. He also talked to my boss whose phone number was on the PCS paperwork who told him that we are choosing to move, and that terminating our lease is optional because I was relocated only 35 miles away. It seems like this is false and that I should be covered by the SCRA and allowed to terminate my lease due to PCS therefore getting my security deposit back. Our landlord isn’t charging us for unpaid rent but said that our rental agreement clearly states that termination of the lease before the term is us up will forfeit our security deposit. Do you know the answer to this?

    Thank you,

    • says


      This is a tricky situation, and will likely boil down to how your PCS orders are interpreted. I recommend contacting your base legal office or JAG office to see if they can assist you with this matter. They will be able to review you lease contract and your PCS orders and give you the best course of action.

      Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  14. Bre says

    Hi Ryan,
    My husband just recieved a letter in the mail regarding a small claims judgement against him from a cable provider. He called to cancel service before he PCS’d but we just got word that he owes over $800 in back pay and accumulated interest. I am writing to them and including his Orders. But I am wondering if this Act covers breaking cable contracts. ??? Hoping to get some clarification before I send all the paperwork off.
    Thanks in advance for your knowledge and time.

    • says

      Hi Bre, I’m not 100% certain if this covers breaking cable contracts, but it is definitely worth pursuing. Many cable providers have clauses in their contracts which allow you to break the contract when you move, and do so without any penalty if you move to an area which they do not serve. It’s unfortunate that they sent a small claims judgment, though, as it seems like they took this to court where the judge made the decision in his absence – if this is the case, it could complicate things. I recommend seeking counsel from your base legal department and trying to resolve this over the phone with customer service instead of via mail – it will be much easier if you can explain things to someone over the phone versus trying to explain it in a letter. You can always scan and e-mail or fax a copy of his orders if they need a copy.

  15. Robert says

    My fiancé and I started renting an apartment September 2011 and I left for basic training, airborne school and ranger training January 9th 2012 and am still down here training until October. I went into the landlords office to speak with them, let them know I was leaving and that we needed to break the lease. At the time I was pretty sure they were obligated to release us from the lease. The landlord said she didn’t have to and that all she could do was sign me off the lease and it would be solely in my fiance’s name. Seeing as I make far less in the military than i did at my former job, we’ve been struggling to pay bills and have even resorted to loans to pay for things and going into my fiance’s college fund. She goes to school full time and works part time so she doesn’t make very much and neither do I. Not only has not being able to terminate the lease stressed us financially, its taken an emotional toll on my fiancé as well. The rent alone in the last 6 months has been nearly $4000 and that’s not including all the bills that go along with the apartment. I was wondering if there was any legal action we could take against the property management because I read that in 2003 George Bush passed a law stating military members can terminate leases if they are gone for an extended period of time. So in essence they broke the law but not allowing us out of the apartment and putting us in hard times financially.

    – Robert Nourse

    • says

      Robert, try contacting your base legal department for assistance. They will be able to help you better understand the terms of your lease and whether or not you have a legal recourse for getting out of the lease without penalties. If your fiance’s name is on the lease as well, then it could complicate things. The best thing to do is seek professional assistance from your base legal department.

  16. Fayvado says

    Hi Ryan,

    I am a Reservist that was activated from 2007 to 2009. At that time I did get the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act applied to my credit cards. Some even lowered my rate to 0%.

    It is now 2012 and I am just realizing that one of my cards is still 0%. I did not notice early because I no longer get paper statements but e-statements for that particular credit card. Since using the e-statement option, I did not review the statements but just paid the balance off usually by paying 1/3 or 1/2 of the full balance. I have been paying the bill this way for the 3 years.

    I want to call the credit card company and explain my dilemma but I am worried about the past interest amount. That would cause me hardship. I am liable? I did submit orders that stated my ending date of active duty service. Also I do have another card with the same company that did revert back to the correct interest rate after the end of my active duty period.


  17. leo says

    i will be deploying for a year in dec to afghanistan and i have a legal issue can my lawyer delay the process untill i return. the charge is for delaying an officer not a heavy charge but i’m fighting it because it was not justified and the deputies abused there power.

    • says

      You may be able to delay the judgment. I recommend speaking with your base legal department or your lawyer for legal guidance.

      Best of luck on your deployment and thanks for your service.

  18. Shaun says

    Hi…my family and I just moved to our new duty station….i am a active duty marine… We rented a home and 2 months later a sheriff came and served papers to us and told us the date of the sheriffs auction of the house. Can we break our lease? This is causing alot of emotional stress on my family…the landlord changed all phone numbers and emails without even telling us…we had to do research to find his new one and all he can tell us is I am checking into it. Since it is at this stage and we have only been in the house for 2 months that he signed a lease with us knowing that he was not making mortgage payments…what can we do…we would just like to break the lease and move on to a more stable situation for my family. Thank you…

    • says

      Shaun, I believe you can break your lease, but I recommend scheduling a visit with your base legal office for more specific information. Each state has different laws, so you it is best to get legal counsel. Best of luck, and thanks for your service.

  19. STEVEN MILLER says

    I’m deploying over seas in October. While I am clear on my rights at my job upon returning I am confused about the rights of reservist and gaurdsman who are being called up and need time to get things at home straightened out for their families and household before they leave. I have found many forums discussing the rights of the servicemembers spouse being able to take a leave of absents from their jobs but nothing about the servicemembert being able to do this. Is there something i can read or send my work so i can do the same. I am very distressed about this and was even told by my employer that they had no idea of any document which allowed me to take off work before being deployed. I understand that most employers are sympathetic to servicemembers and would allow them time off work, however i do wish something in writing would help me feel better about doing so, and not leave any questions about reprecutions for taking this time off work.

    • says

      Steven, To be honest, I don’t know of any specific document for this topic. My recommendation is to try and work something out with your employer, or use your vacation time to take care of things as needed. You can also try to work off shifts if you need to make appointments in the day time, or volunteer for weekends or other shifts to take care of your personal business as needed. The most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open with you employer and your unit.

      You may also wish to talk to people in your unit about how they handle these situation. best of luck, and thanks for your service.

  20. KT says

    I really need to know if there is anything you can do to reduce the interest on a private student loan. My husband had already been active duty Army and then got out when he obtained a large private student loan. After he joined the National Guard (after the student loan was taken out). I think the loan was taken out in 2003 then he was deployed in 2008, and continued to pay the huge payments with no breaks on the interest. We went through a bankruptcy and haven’t been able to pay on this loan in two year and its now in collections. I wasn’t in the picture when the loan occurred and now the collection agency is trying to scare me into allowing them to take automatic payment from my checking account! The interest and late penalties are so high this loan in now $10000 more than was borrowed. I guess what i want to know is, is there anything that can be done to help lower the amount owed so that one day my husband and I might actually be out of debt? Thanks

  21. Fred B says

    In 2009 I broke my lease at my apartment complex in Texas by using the military clause in my lease. I had received TDY orders for 114 days in Georgia to be attached to another unit for training. Years later I am encounting a collection agency trying to collect on this, even though I did the right thing toward closing out my lease. I no longer have any paperwork regarding that lease, and when I requested debt validation they merely sent me the first and last page of the lease and a standard unsigned statement of charges. I’m still active and in Georgia. Do I have any rights regarding this?

    • says

      Fred, If you are still in the military, I would contact your base legal office and have them assist you. A record of your previous orders may be helpful. If you are no longer in the military, then you may need to hire a lawyer to help you. This is something you definitely want off your record – not just for the expense they are trying to collect, but because it can affect your credit score.

  22. elisabeth says

    Hi Ryan,

    I was hoping to get your help on this. I tried to post it a few days ago, however, the entry never made it.

    My husband is in the reserves and being called to active duty. He and I are both co-signers a 2 yr lease with 7 months remaining. We want to get out of the lease and are telling our landlord that my husband is being called into active duty. I have independent income and am not moving with my husband for now.

    Given that both or our names are on the lease and that only one of us is being called to active duty, do we have a case in court or could the landlord take us to small claims court for breaking the lease 6 months early?


    • says

      Elisabeth, In your case, I don’t know, since you are both cosigners on the lease. I recommend you consult with your base legal counsel for more information. Most Guard/Reserve units are able to offer assistance for these types of inquiries, especially when members are being activated for deployments.

  23. Will says

    Hello sir, i have been reading on the the SCRA and i know the 6% interest cap applies to Active duty. The question i guess im asking is , im deployed, are my loans interest rate able to get to 0% or is it still only 6% pd.? These interest im asking about is for my direct loans i took out for from college.

    • says

      Will, I don’t know anything about the interest rates being reduced to 0% unless it is the policy of a specific lender. You will need to ask your lender if they have any specific policies for deployed servicemembers. Best of luck, and thanks for your service.

  24. Aaron Perry says

    I am on active duty and about to deploy in three weeks. My dillema is our lease ends in October while I will still be deployed. The homeowner is wanting to move back into the house once the lease ends. Can they make my wife and children move out once our lease ends even with me still being deployed?

    • says

      Aaron, To be honest, I don’t have a firm answer for you. It probably depends on your lease agreement and state laws. My recommendation is to speak with your landlord about the situation and see if you can come to an agreement to either: 1) break your lease early so you can move your family before you deploy, or 2) extend your lease until you return.

      If your landlord isn’t willing to work with you, then I recommend speaking to your base legal counsel, or First Sergeant to see what options you have. Your unit may be able to help organize some people who remained behind to help your wife and family move into a new house or apartment. Since you are deploying soon, I recommend moving very quickly on this.

      I wish you the best of luck with this situation, and with your deployment. Thanks for your service!

  25. Air Force Retired says

    What if you received SCRA benefits and a check from a creditor for interest throughout a car loan or personal loan even though you aren’t eligible because the credit or loan was established after joining the service. What happens next?

  26. Amanda says

    I am currently deployed to Afghanistan and some medical bills that hadn’t been sent to me before I left have been sent to collections. My mom didn’t tell me about the bills, she didn’t want to open my mail, until she noticed a collections one. Am I covered under this act to have it take off of my credit report if I pay it when I get home? I just am afraid of it having an impact on my credit.

    • says

      Amanda, I would contact the original creditor right away and explain the situation – that you are in the military and deployed and you were unaware of the bill until you received a collection notice. Then ask them to remove the collections notice if possible and try to set up some form of payment plan. I believe you are covered under this act, however, you may need some assistance to get this taken care of. You may be able to get assistance from your base legal office, depending on the size of your deployed location (some smaller deployed locations do not have any legal representation, but some larger FOBs do). The sooner you can get this taken care of, the less likelihood it will have a lasting impact on your credit.

  27. Justin Loucks says

    If I am about to ets out of the military, and I have a lease with my apt complex till Oct. Will I be able to break my lease with my ets orders?

    • says

      Justin, I”m not 100% certain on this one. I recommend visiting with a lawyer at your base legal office. They will be able to give you a more specific answer.

  28. lisa says

    My husband is being medically discharged in May. Can you get out of a car lease if you are ETS’ing? We are currently in Alaska and plan on going back to Texas.

    • says

      Lisa, This is a great question, but I’m not 100% certain on the answer. I believe the clause only works when you receive orders to an overseas location. However, as I mentioned, I’m not 100% certain. I recommend speaking with a lawyer at the base legal office. They will be able to go over the terms of your lease and give you legal advice for your specific situation. I wish you the best of luck, and I wish your husband good health.

  29. katrina evertsen says

    Hello, I am on a house lease with three other people. One of them got orders to another command in the middle of the lease. With the military clause does it break the lease for all of us for just her??

  30. says

    Katrina, This all depends on whose name the lease is in. If the lease is in her name, then she could legally break the lease to remove her name from it, and the remaining parties would then have to sign a new lease. If her name is not on the lease, then she would be able to leave without any legal implications. If there are multiple names on the lease, then she would likely be able to have her name removed from the lease, however, it’s possible that a new lease would need to be signed. This is a situation where you want to speak with the landlord and explain the situation so there are no last minute surprises.

  31. Ryan says

    Hi Ryan,

    First off, thanks for taking the time to answer all of these questions! I have one of my own, and it’s a tad on the annoying side at this point. I recently (April) was separated from the Navy due to medical conditions after serving 4 years, and received orders to return to North Carolina (my Home of Record). I was stationed in Groton, CT – there is no way to make a daily commute of nearly a thousand miles if I was getting a job down there!

    I’m completely moved out now, and there were no problems or issues breaking my lease when the day came after I went into the office; however, now my apartment complex (I don’t want to use their name for legal purposes) continually sends me a bill for nearly $10,000 (yes, ten thousand dollars!) for unpaid rent. Now, I tried to keep them posted on what was going on with me and I did not know at the time of signing the lease that I was on my way out of the door. However, even after talking to them on the phone, it’s pretty clear that they don’t care a bit about their service members living there and they are only focused on money. They wouldn’t talk to me about it, only reinforced “pay us moneys!” over and over again. The woman there is pretty terrible, if you ask any of the former tenants – one of my best friends had orders to move (change commands, not separation) and they continually send him multi-thousand dollar bills for “unpaid rent” and “cleaning charges.” None of this makes any sense, and it doesn’t seem ethical or legal to do these things, especially with orders in hand.

    If there’s any advice or references that you have I could use, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!



  32. Caleb says

    hey ryan , my wife had got a credit card before she had left for basic train by about 2 month. She is active duty army. She was employed before even entering the army. About two weeks before leaving for basic she has left her job. Then once leaving for basic she didnt receive pay for 45 days. In that time her credit card payments were do. Well with all other expenses she/we didnt have the funds to make the payment so they charged her a late payments and have reported it on her credit. Even though they knew of the situation b/c i had called them to keep them up to date. We have her shipment papers showing she was gone and even the bank that we have the cc through can see where we set her direct deposit up, and when the first payment was deposited. Isnt there something that protects her from this effecting her and her credit and the charges?

  33. Jazlynn j says

    If I am deployed for a year and have a car lease I should be able to suspend it correct? Well if I have a co signer on the lease what happens in that instance? Is it Wleft for the co signer to be held responsible?

    • says

      Jazlynn, I’m not sure what will happen if you have a co-signer on your lease. You should contact your base legal department. They handle these types of issues on a regular basis and will help you with your specific situation.

  34. Melisa Bond says

    Hello Ryan,

    Not sure if you can help or not but it is worth a shot. I am a military spouse…Please keep reading I am not the OSMW type. I am employed full time and my employer allowed me to continue employment with them when we had to PCS to a different state. After two months they have reduced my pay to commission’s only yet they expect me to work a minimum of 40 hours a week per a set schedule. They also stated that if my sells are not a minimum of $10,500 a month then I will owe them money.

    I know that they can reduce my pay, however, can they make me work the set schedule and then take money from me if I don’t meet the $10,500. Thank you in advance for any advise you can give.

  35. leisy says

    hi I wanted to know if after youre done in the military do all your payments go back up because youre no longer in the military my husband is almost done and we are worried that a our car payments and other bills will be raised because hes no longer in the military??????

  36. Brian says

    I had a vehicle loan with Ford Credit back in 2005. I enlisted in the military in 2009 and deployed. I did not know of the SCRA until a few week ago from a friend. I since then contacted Ford and gave them the necessary documents showing I was deployed and in a Active Duty status at the time of the loan. They refused to give me anything stating that the SCRA only applies to open accounts not to closed or paid off accounts. This doesn’t seem fair to me. I paid the account off in full. Is there any type of relief that they owe me even if the account is paid off??

    • says

      Brian, Unfortunately, companies are not required to retroactively decrease the interest rate of a loan after it has been paid off. You fulfilled your obligation to them as it was written. Had you brought the SCRA to their attention during the course of the loan, they would have been legally obligated to decrease the interest rate in accordance with the law. But since they were not made aware of it, they had no legal obligation to do anything. Now that the loan has been paid off, it is closed out and no further action can be taken. So far as I am aware, they do not owe you anything.

  37. Chris Oden says

    I am currently on a a very long TDY for 160 days and my lease is up for my house and I am being told that if I don’t re-sign a lease or extend it I will be charged 10% extra a month until I sign it. Can they charge me that while I am on orders? My wife doesn’t want to sign without me or make that decision.

    • says

      Chris, I’m not sure how this works in your specific situation. My recommendation is to contact your base legal office. You should provide a copy of your lease to the legal office. They will be able to advise you on your rights. If you cannot do so because you are deployed, then ask your wife to do so on your behalf. Much of the communication should be able to be handled through email, phone, fax, powers of attorney, etc.

  38. Mitch says


    My Son has recently been accepted into the US Navy and he has Signed his enlistment contract with a deployment date.

    Now he lives with his Mother under a Rental Lease and she wants to get him removed from the lease during his deployment we did look at the Service Member Civil relief Act. Under Section 535.

    Should she Get a Notarized letter stating to remove him off the Lease during his Deployment and attach a copy of the Contract to it ?

    He is due to leave in July.

    Please Advice.

    • says

      Mitch, Thank you for contacting me. That should be a good way to get him removed from the lease. Some property managers will remove a military member from a lease without a notarized letter, but the method you suggested makes it more official. It may be a good idea to have a reference to the law, as some property managers may not be familiar with it. Best of luck to your son in his journey with the military!

  39. Suzanne says

    My husband is currently deployed until August. We have a couple of credit cards that we accumulated after he became active duty. Can we still get a reduction in interest for those credit cards during the time he is deployed?

    • says

      Suzanne, so far as I am aware, the SCRA only requires lenders to lower interest rates for loans incurred before the servicemember joined the military. However, there are some lenders who will voluntarily decrease interest rates while the member is deployed. Some military friendly banks will even lower the interest rates to zero while the member is deployed (though not all will do this). My recommendation is to contact the lender and ask. It never hurts to ask!

  40. Heidi says

    In Va. can a military landlord end a rental lease and ask the tenants to end their lease early after their deployment in order to sell the home instead of moving back to live in it?

    • says

      Heidi, Thank you for contacting me. I’m not aware of anything in the SCRA that covers this situation. It would depend on the way the rental or lease agreement was written, and the state laws. I’m not a real estate lawyer and I’m not familiar with VA laws, so your best bet would be to contact a licensed attorney in Virginia to get a correct answer. Many attorneys will answer basic questions over the phone or offer an initial phone or in-person consultation.

  41. Kyle says

    I have a house being rented with dual military members who are married. Only one of them has orders to deploy for 180 days. They are wanting to break the lease to move on base. Does the SCRA apply for this situation since the other spouse doesn’t have orders to PCS or deploy? I have reviewed the SCRA and its somewhat vague on this matter since couldn’t the spouse be considered a service member and not a dependent? I was told that it would require both to have orders to break this lease. They both signed the lease as well. Thanks for any advice.

    • says

      Kyle, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I don’t have a firm answer here. Because both names are on the lease, both members are responsible. But since one of the members will be unavailable due to the deployment (which is a legal method for terminating the lease), the SCRA might apply to this situation.

      But I’m not a lawyer – so I’d recommend speaking with one. Try contacting the base legal office at your local base and ask to speak to a lawyer. Explain the situation and mention you don’t want to cause hardship, but you want to follow the law. Ask the lawyer for a legal reference in writing so you have the required information. I hope this is helpful.

  42. Rody says


    My question is that when I enact the SCRA through my bank and they lower my interest rate to 6%, do they back pay me all the interest that I paid that was over 6% and late fees that I already paid if it was on a card opened before I joined the Military?

    • says

      Rody, Thank you for contacting me. No, the bank will not repay you for previous payments made because they were made under the agreed upon terms. The bank will only change the rates going forward, which is what the law requires.

  43. jamie says

    Hi Ryan,

    Great site here. There is a lot of valuable information.

    My question… I am a reservist and was activated and deployed outside the US for over 30 days. During that time a mortgage payment was missed and I was dinged on my credit score for a late payment of which I promptly paid upon my return.

    Does SCRA protect me on this item and is there a way to get this removed from my credit report.



  44. Shane Clarke says

    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for setting up this site, it has given me a lot of great information on SCRA and in return I’ve had success in getting the benefits it prescribes.

    I do have one question regarding a small loan account I have with Navy Federal Credit Union, if you wouldn’t mind answering.

    I am a reservist, who has done multiple deployments and mobilizations over the years. I was recently mobilized in support of Operation Inherent Resolve on 05AUG15 and I have had all my accounts lowered to 6% accept one.

    I submitted the proper request and orders for the rate reduction and received this response from NFCU:

    “We are in compliance with and support the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA). We regret that we were unable to process your request to reduce the interest rate on your Navy Federal loan ending in 8305.

    This account was established on 03/10/10 during your active duty period of 04/15/09 to 04/25/10; therefore, your account does not qualify for relief under SCRA. We sincerely regret any inconvenience or frustration this may cause. ”

    In past mobilizations they had reduced the percentage rate regardless of the loan being established during a previous period of active duty. I have searched the SCRA law and I cannot find anything that shows I cannot receive relief if my loan was established during a previous period of active duty.

    Can you point me towards the light on this please? Is there part of the law that stipulates you cannot receive SCRA relief if the loan was established during a past period of active duty?

    Thanks for all you do on this site for my fellow brothers and sisters in-arms!

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