Understanding the Service Member Civil Relief Act Can Save You Money

Military life comes with its share of change—deployments and permanent change of station (PCS) moves—to name just a couple. And these changes may, at times, make it difficult to honor financial and legal commitments that were made prior to joining the military.

The Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides “protections for service members in the event that legal or financial transactions adversely affect their rights during military or uniformed service,” according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The SCRA provides the following protections for service members that could save them money and financial stress:

  1. Six percent credit cap on pre-service loans and credit protection from lenders when invoking SCRA.
  2. Legal protections from default judgments in civil cases.
  3. Special protection against the foreclosure of their homes if they purchased the residence before going into active duty service.
  4. Protections against repossession of pre-service property, including vehicles.
  5. Rights to terminate housing and automobile leases signed before entering the service or when PCS orders arrive.

Additionally, SCRA also allows you to terminate your cell phone contract if you move to a location that doesn’t offer coverage with your current provider. It also offers some taxation protection. So, in its essence, the SCRA helps ensure that service members are not penalized legally or monetarily for their military service.

Know your rights under the SCRA. It could save you money on things, such as cell phone plans you can no longer use when deployed or apartment leases you need to break to move for the military.

Additional SCRA Resources:

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau: SCRA Fact Sheet
SaveandInvest.org: Getting to Know the SCRA
HandsOnBanking.org: SCRA
MilitaryOneSource.mil: SCRA
Military.com: SCRA

Alecia D. Blair, AFC®, is the Director of Military Saves, a nonprofit program, which seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at militarysaves.org.


Let Military Saves help you save money so you can feel confident about your finances. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. Take the first step today and take the Military Saves pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. And it doesn't stop there. Military Saves will keep you motivated with information, advice, tips, and reminders to help you reach your goal. Think of us as your own personal support system.

TAKE THE PLEDGE


The #ServiceMembersCivilReliefAct could help you save a ton during your next deployment, PCS move or temporary duty assignment. v/@MilitarySaves >> https://bit.ly/2HtsrFb


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