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. There are…
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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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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of The Military Wallet. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the IL Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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  1. Jack Henry says

    Hi.
    In July 2019, I entered into a 1-year lease knowing I would be deployed for 4 month around March/April 2020. I did not disclose my deployment to the landlord because they were asking for a 1 year lease and I really needed to find a place. If I had disclosed my deployment before I signed the lease, the landlord would not have offered me the unit. I gave my landlord 45-days notice. Will I be covered through SCRA with no penalties in order to terminate my lease early?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jack,

      I’d go to your JAG or base legal office. They will be able to answer your questions and help you with any issues your landlord may present.

      As for “knowing” you would be deployed, I would consider rephrasing that to something like, “I had an idea there was a possibility I would be deployed.” After all, deployment rotations can change, even if they are on the books months in advance.

      Best wishes.

  2. Joseph says

    Can I sue a phone company that is trying to make me pay early cancellation fees, when I have military orders to PCS?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Joseph,

      You probably don’t need to sue them. I would contact their customer service department and ask to speak with a supervisor. Explain your situation and mention your orders. If the phone company does not offer the same service in your new location, they should allow you to cancel your service without charge. If they refuse to allow you to cancel your service without the early termination fee (ETF), then contact your base JAG. Your JAG office should be able to draft a legal statement or letter on your behalf informing the company of the requirements under the SCRA, as well as the ramifications of failing to comply with the law.

      If none of that works, then you can ask the JAG for your next steps.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  3. Patrick Anderson says

    Hello, I am in South Korea for two years. I am CSP but my wife and child cant come due to the fact that the wife has to continue to work until our home sells. If she was to quit her job and fly over here my current income could not pay the mortgage let alone the cars. do you think that SCRA is an option. Our home has been on the market for some time now.

    Thank you.

    PFC Anderson

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello PFC Anderson, Thank you for your question. I recommend visiting your base legal office. They will be able to review the terms of your loans and be able to provide a much more accurate and thorough answer than anyone can provide via email.

      I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer, but each case is unique and will depend on the terms of your contracts and other factors.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  4. Joe says

    Have a military member renting our house. They provided retirement papers showing an effective date in late 2019, but want to get out of their lease in two months. Is that within the spirit of SCRA? Must we allow?

  5. Jason says

    I am in a contract with my job but feel called to serve in the military. I plan to swear in next week. Would this count as a leave of absence rather than a break of contract once I receive my orders? Trying to see if I’m held to any ramifications of breaking the employment contract by joining the military.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jason, Thank you for contacting me. I am not an expert on employment issues, so it may be a good idea to speak with a lawyer who specializes in employment law. I also recommend reading more about Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which offers legal protections to persons who join the military or for members of the Guard and Reserves who are also employed by a civilian employer. Again, I’m not an expert here, so I recommend consulting with someone who is.

      I wish you the best in the military!

  6. Mary Naylor says

    Our family is active duty and we are stationed in North Carolina. Our landlord was arrested for nine years in prison. He and his fiancé haven’t paid the mortgage on our home in six months and our home is being foreclosed on. The landlord and his fiancé won’t return our $6200.00 deposit and said we can stay in the house rent free until the foreclosure is complete. What are our options?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Mary, Thank you for contacting me. Contact your base legal office or JAG. They will be able to advise you on your options, including what to do in your current home, how long you will be legally allowed to remain in the home, and your options regarding your deposit.

      Best wishes to you and your family!

  7. Meighan says

    Hi Ryan,

    I am a teacher in Idaho and have just started a new school year. My husband received an assignment notification, but we still do not have hard copy orders.

    Do his orders cover me to break my contract for the year?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Meighan, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I’m not certain. But I know there are certain provisions for spouses. I would wait until you have a hard copy of your husband’s orders so you have a better time frame and have a better idea of how this will play out. Then I would take a copy of your employment contract to the base legal office and ask their recommendation. They should be able to provide free assistance or advice with your situation. I wish you all the best!

  8. maria says

    Hello, Ryan I’m trying to help my brother find the best option for him regarding his car. He just graduated from the marines in July 2017. He has not made car payments since February 2017. He did fax paperwork to defer payment and he was placed in the SCRA, but the bank sent the loan to collection anyways and they don’t want to help in any way, they just ask how would he like to make a payment. He is thinking of just turning in he’s car. Please help with some advise.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Maria, Thank you for contacting me. Your brother would be best served by contacting his base legal office or one of the financial counselors on base. They can help him understand his options and what would be best in his situation.

      As for turning in the car, that would have a very negative impact on his credit history and make it very difficult for him to purchase another car with a loan in the near future (perhaps up to a couple years). This is why scheduling a meeting with a financial counselor – they can help him better understand his options.

      Best wishes.

  9. Justin says

    Hello Ryan,

    I’m currently deployed and have my family in a rental that our contract will end first part of June. We’d like to sign another agreement but they wish to raise our rent by 20% on our next contract. As I’m still deployed till September this year is there any way I can put a stay on the raising of rental payment during our next contract?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Justin, This is a great question. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer. I would contact your base legal office for more information. They should be able to review your lease and provide feedback based on the SCRA and your local laws. I wish you and your family the best, and thank you for your service!

  10. Heike Howe says

    Hello, my son enlisted into national guard and before basic hedid a voluntary repo on his vehicle because he wouldnt be able to make payments. He was gone for 6 months. He is now back home and the finance company is telling him he owes $12000 on the dificiency loan. Can we do anything ?

  11. Rod j Benfield says

    Ryan
    I am retired. 22 years, I am a head trauma case. I draw social security and require home health care provider from 2004 may. My Bride came aboard May 2001 with 3 other women. she lost everything she owned. Prior to or Marriage. House Car x husband paying child support. we didn’t have the money to buy time. Judgments filed against us. Credit ruined and now 13 years later I have just got to suffer the aftermath? Or can I use my 22 year served tolling? I know the damages are done and so are we. The ability to hire or seek a jag office trip is no go. I am unable to ride with out having seizures. I am able to grasp some things my Bride had no ideal what protections were had. I am tired of knowing this happened and I cant recover any lose and the ruin of our credit. judgments Ford, Carolina’s Medical who file a clam with no coding but a dod id card on file. 136 g. BBT home loan the wife’s, Exploiting my medical benefits her x husband, He never paid a dime for 18 year for medical bills when owed 50/ The 20/ uncovered also became judgments. We are poor almost broken, Maybe able to win one and fund the rest.??? Broken busted behind and brainless. I dont wont any thank you for my service. Or any one to feel sorry for me. I joined the Marine Corp fully aware of its risk and event death could also happen. Firemen Police officers also share these risk. Thank them before us. But left me know what you see here. Tolling? file this stuff as a loss? Find a new id? ,

  12. James Bozeman says

    We are home owners and renting our home, if we get PCS orders back to our home of record (where we are renting the home) does the SCRA cover us in breaking the lease? I know if we are leasing a place and get moved because of military necessity or deployment then we can use the clause to break the lease with the landlord, but don’t know if that works in reverse.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello James, Thank you for contacting me. Are you asking me if you can break the lease as a tenant, or as a landlord?

      I do not believe the SCRA allows landlords to break a lease and ask the renter to vacate the property when the landlord moves back to the area. I suggest speaking with your base legal office or reviewing your lease for more information. You could also contact a civilian real estate lawyer, just make sure they are familiar with the SCRA.

      If the law does not offer this ability, then I would contact the tenant and inform them of the situation. Let them know you will not be renewing their lease when it ends, and ask them if they would be willing to move early so you can begin living in your home again upon return to your home of record. It’s possible the tenant may be ready to move on anyway. On the other hand, they may have the right to remain in residence until the end of the lease, so you may have to offer them something to make this happen – perhaps offer a free month rent, or return their deposit early so they can make a deposit at their new rental.

  13. Shaun says

    Hello, I’m active duty military but I am getting medically discharged soon. I purchased a new vehicle last year and I’m afraid I won’t be able to afford the payments anymore. I’m at the verge of filing for bankruptcy which is something to do over a car. I’ve tried seeking help with base legal but they we I’ll not help me.. I owe much more than what the car is worth. What can I do?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Shaun, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest, I’m not sure. Based on your comment, I’m not sure the SCRA applies to your situation. The best advice I can give is to contact someone who can help you understand your financial situation and give you some options. Most bases have some form of financial services office. Hopefully they can set up an appointment, help you review your situation, and give you some ideas.

      I wish you the best with both your medical and financial situations. Thank you for your service.

  14. Corinna says

    Hi Ryan,
    My Marine son purchased a car through an overseas military car dealership, and we picked it up for him last month. He will be back stateside in November, and was expecting to complete his initial enlistment here.
    An now comes the big BUT – he has just decided to extend/re-enlist for at least 3 years to become a Marine Security Guard (3 12-months tours at embassies around the world). Since he is an E-4, he won’t be able to take his car.
    I assume we will have to end up taking over his payments until he gets back (and stick to the new car air freshener I included in his last care package). If there is another way, besides selling it at a huge loss, I would love to hear it.
    Thanks!

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Corinna, Thank you for contacting me. I’m sorry to hear about this situation. It’s unfortunate that your son will not be able to use his new car. But military orders happen. And it sounds as though he volunteered to extend his enlistment and take this career opportunity. This is an amazing opportunity, but as your son is learning, it is coming at a cost. He now has a brand new car he is unable to use.

      That doesn’t change the fact that he purchased the car and it is still his responsibility. I don’t see any reason why you should be responsible for making payments on his car, unless you co-signed the loan.

      At this point, your son needs to think through his options to decide how he wants to handle this responsibility. He can ask you to keep the vehicle on his behalf. It may be possible that the military will store his car while he is on orders that prevent his taking a car with him. Or he may need to sell the car, even it it is for a loss.

      If you choose to make payments on his car, that is your decision alone. But it is not your obligation.

      This should be a conversation you should have sooner rather than later so he has time to make the most beneficial decision for this situation. I wish you the best.

  15. Sylvester says

    I deployed downrange in 2012 for 6 months and I gave my orders to my cell phone company before I left to put my contract on hold. When I came back, they were threatening to report me for “not paying my cell phone bill” while I was deployed and told me I owed them about 650 dollars. When I got back, I visited the legal office and they said that they could not help me. Was this not a violation of this act? I had no “proof” that I gave someone my orders, so I was forced to pay these people money because I didn’t want my credit score to be affected.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Sylvester, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t know if there is any legal recourse, as I’m not sure the SCRA requires companies to suspend cell phone service while you are deployed. The best course of action would be to contact their customer support and run this up their chain, just as you would in the military. Unfortunately, it has been about 4 years since this happened, so there isn’t any recourse now. If this happens in the future, make sure you verify the process for suspending your cell phone service so you can avoid having similar charges. Also make sure to get a confirmation number or make sure this is noted in your file so you will not be charged.

  16. Ariel says

    I am in the Army Reserve and moved to a new unit in San Antonio Tx, I had an apartment in Brownsville Tx and used the orders I have for the new Unit to break the lease, the old apartment complex I had is saying I owe the last 2 months rent for June and July but I moved out May 30. In September 10 2015 the complex got a new tenant in August. I was in my legal boundaries to break my lease right? And I mean it is less than 3 months rent so they wouldn’t take me to court right? Considering I am a service member?

  17. Joe Moyer says

    I have 2 auto loans and have just been ordered overseas for 3 years and would like to know if I can get out of my loans because of it?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Joe, Thank you for contacting me. The best thing to do is read the loan contract you signed. Many lenders will not allow the member to take a car overseas when there is a lien on the vehicle (some banks that often work with military members may allow it, depending on the country and loan terms). If this is the case, then you need to contact your lender to find out your alternatives. It will also be a great idea to visit your base legal office to see if they can help you read through the terms of your loan and give any legal advice that pertains to your situation. They can also help you understand your options.

      I can’t tell you what will happen. You may be forced to sell your cars, or you may be able to turn them over to the lender. Make sure you understand how it would affect your credit report and credit score if you turn the vehicles in rather than sell them or pay them off. Turning a vehicle in rather than paying off the loan may have a negative impact on your credit score. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  18. Sarah P says

    My husband is air national guard and was activated for 22 days over seas . During that time his truck was repo’ed after two missed payments. He took these orders just to get caught up on his truck .? They will not allow us to get the truck back even thought we have 4 months worth of payments we can give them which would put us 2 months ahead. They also said since he wasn’t gone for 30 days (22) that we couldn’t use the SRCA. Is there anything else we can do. We have already paid $10,000 on this truck $8,000 straight to the loan amount itself. We made 3 payments and because it wasn’t 4 payments made they said they can not re instate our contract.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Sarah, Thank you for contacting me and I’m sorry to hear about this situation. I am not a lawyer, so unfortunately, I don’t have any answers for you. The best thing to do is contact the base legal department or a lawyer who is knowledgeable on the SCRA. I wish you both the best!

  19. Elyse says

    Hello,

    My husband will be receiving his EAS papers soon and we have just been completely mislead by our cable company, DirectTV. We had no idea we signed a two year contract with them. Can we break the contract with his papers?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Elyse, Thank you for contacting me. I’m not sure if the orders your husband receives will work for breaking this contract. I would contact the base legal department for advice. They will be able to give you a better answer. They should be able to provide a reference to the section of the law that pertains to this if you are able to break the contract.

      Also keep in mind that most cable contracts allow you to end the contract if you are moving to an area they do not service. Again, that would require you to be relocating and DirecTV not to offer service in that area. So this is worth looking into. I wish you and your family the best during this transition.

  20. Ken says

    Hello Ryan. I’m currently deployed to the Philippines. The unimaginable happened when day 1 my wife asked for a divorce and created a separation agreement. Now she is telling me I have to move out soon as I return. I’m getting railroaded all the way around. We did a online divorce kit and there is a rush to do this before I return 20 Aug 16. What do you recommend bc as an active duty officer this is illegal on so many levels and her attorney is tracting. I’m military and active duty.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Ken, Thank you for contacting me, and I’m very sorry to hear about your situation. The first thing I would do is seek legal counsel. Visit your base legal office if there is one available at your deployed location. If not, try to correspond with your home station legal office via email, fax, or phone. I’m not certain if they will be able to represent you in the divorce because that is a civil case. But they should be able to give you immediate legal advice, even if it’s off the record.

      What follows is not legal advice (I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t play one on the Internet). But here is how I would advise a close friend:

      I wouldn’t sign any documents until you return from your deployment and have the opportunity to hire a divorce lawyer. You deserve and should have legal representation. A divorce is rarely in the favor of both parties, especially if there is only one lawyer involved. Keep in mind the other lawyer works for your spouse, not for you. So any divorce document may not be in your favor.

      So far as I am aware, the lawyer or your spouse cannot force you to sign any documents, nor can they require you to do so on their timeline, or while you are deployed. (Note: Your base legal department can advise you on the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act, which has protections against lawsuits and other legal proceedings while servicemembers are deployed.)

      Finally – you will want to think about your living arrangements upon your return. Your spouse wants you to move out. I don’t know if there is any legal recourse here (whose name the mortgage or lease are under, your joint property, and other factors may all be important). This is why you need a lawyer. But it may be a good idea to start looking at alternative living arrangements if it will keep things more civil.

      I wish you the best in finding legal counsel, and I wish you the best during this situation. Thank you for your service, and stay safe out there!

  21. Jackie Marte says

    Hey there,
    Im wondering about an auto lease we have. My husband is currently working on his medical board paperwork to be medically discharged from the Army. Because we will be going onto VA disability I am afraid we will not be able to afford two cars. Is there anything we can do to cancel my auto lease due to his medical discharge?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi Jackie, I’m sorry to hear about your husband. I pray he will fully recover. I don’t know about your lease. Because each situation is unique, I recommend speaking with the base JAG, or base legal office. They will be able to explain your options regarding your car lease, housing situation, and possible benefits if your husband is discharged.

  22. T.gunter says

    My husband is active duty military and he does not have orders yet for 2017. We have to sign our daycare contract, but we are not sure for how long we will need child care in this area. If my husband gets orders is there a way to get out of the daycare contract?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello T, You should ask your day care provider. In most cases they will have provisions in their contracts for people who move out of the area. You can also contact your base legal department to see if this would be covered under the SCRA. In all situations, do what you can to get everything in writing so there are no misunderstandings. Good luck!

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Krissy, Thank you for your question. I don’t have good advice here. I recommend speaking with your base legal office to see if they have any tips. The SCRA may or may not apply (I’m not certain here). If not, they may have other options that you could do. Finally, there are companies that buy time shares, so you might look into those.

  23. Hayden says

    Hello my car was totaled and the GAP company won’t pay because of my car company deferred my payments for 6 months. Im not sure if the SCRA allowed them to or if they did it as an inclusive favor. I used SCRA protection as well with my car company. I owe on my car and am wondering am I protected under the SCRA or anything else?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hayden, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t have an answer here as this is beyond my level of expertise. I recommend scheduling an appointment with your base legal department. Be sure to bring a copy of your GAP agreement and your loan agreement. You might also want to contact your lender’s legal department, as they may go after the company that provided the GAP insurance.

  24. Meriah says

    I am currently deployed. Which bad enough for me, only got a 5 day notice before I mobilized and left my home of record. I had no intent in paying my car lease, and still currently am while over seas. I was advised to look into SCRA a few days ago, but now I am on the brink of going back stateside. I don’t believe I will have enough time for the termination process prior to going home. Will I be able to terminate my lease after my deployment ends, if I start the process of it right now? Or even after I go back home to back date the process? Otherwise if I am still in my lease going home, will I be able to get the reduced interest rate that I have already paid out to the company?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Meriah, Thank you for contacting me. I am not aware of provisions in the law that would allow you to retroactively apply for provisions under the SCRA. The best thing to do is visit your base legal office and ask them to help you better understand your options.

  25. Ashley says

    Please please I need help!!!!!! We transfer in June but our lease ends in May. The owner wants to sell it too We don’t have any military clause in our rental agreement Can the owner kick us out Please I need help as to what to do. Pleeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaasssssssseeeeeeeeess

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hi Ashley, Contact your base Judge Advocate General (JAG) office, or base legal office. They can help you with understanding your options and what the local and federal laws provide for your situation (these may vary by state).

  26. Micheal Wilson says

    I moved my wife back home before I deployed, I am coming back soon, is there a way to break our lease back home to move my family back to where I am stationed?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Micheal, Thank you for contacting me. You will need to check the terms of your lease. Because this is a lease for your family, and not for you, then it may depend who the name of the lease is under, or other details. You may also try asking the landlord if they will be willing to let you out of your lease early. Many landlords are willing to work with tenants. Finally, you can contact your base legal office to see if they can help or provide advice. Best of luck!

  27. Catrina S says

    I separated from the military on 15 October and am giving my 30 day notice to my landlord. My lease isn’t up until May. Or my order still in effect for the SCRA? I just got a job and will be moving next month. Thank you for any information!

  28. 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!
    Shane

  29. 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.

    Thanks,

    Jamie

  30. Rody says

    Ryan,

    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?

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  31. Kyle says

    Ryan,
    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.

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  32. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  33. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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!

  34. Mitch says

    Question

    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.
    Mitch

    • Ryan Guina 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!

  35. 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.

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  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??

    • Ryan Guina 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. 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??????

  38. 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.

  39. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  40. 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?

  41. 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!

    Respectfully,

    –Ryan

  42. Ryan Guina 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.

  43. 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??

  44. 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.

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  45. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  46. 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.

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  47. 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?

  48. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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!

  49. 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.

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  50. 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?

    thanks

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  51. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  52. 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

  53. 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.

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  54. 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…

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  55. 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.

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  56. 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.

    Faye

  57. 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

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  58. 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.
    Bre

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  59. 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,
    Drew

    • Ryan Guina says

      Drew,

      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!

  60. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Candace,

      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.

  64. 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.

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  65. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  66. 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

    • Ryan Guina 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!

  67. 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

    • Ryan Guina says

      Moses,

      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.

  68. 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?

    • Ryan Guina 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.

  69. 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

  70. 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?

  71. 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.

    • Ryan 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! 🙂

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