I know you have heard wives discussing how they have managed to get their interest lowered on credit cards, and other bills through that acronym SSCRA. The only problem is you have no idea what SSCRA means.

Well let me try to explain:

SSCRA = Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act

In short the SSCRA provides some form of financial relief to all service members (providing that you meet eligibilty requirements). It mainly refers to Reserve service members who in some cases when called to duty have to leave a job that paid more then what they are currently making while on active duty.

In short Reserve members usually qualify for the following ( from the DOD site):

• Reduced interest rate on mortgage payments.
• Reduced interest rate on credit card debt.
• Protection from eviction if your rent is $1,200 or less.
• Delay of all civil court actions, such as bankruptcy, foreclosure or divorce proceedings.

Now with that said full time active duty service members qualify for some of benefits of SSCRA also.

In most cases if your spouse (be they reserve or active) has a debt that was obtained before he went Active Duty he can usually request the SSCRA by calling the company or writing a sample letter like the one at the link below:

http://www.mass.gov/Cago/docs/civilrights/sample_letter_mortgage_lenders_creditors.pdf

When my husband was deployed in 2007 we had a SUV that we owed about six more payments on. I learned because we obtained the vehicle before he entered active duty again that my interest would be lowered to 6%. Not only was my interest lowered but they backdated it to the date he entered actively and it paid off my car. Just by calling and submitting the proper documentation which included my POA and a form I eliminated a major debt.

During that same deployment we also had another vehicle we were paying on and because we were living in a military town (Fort Bragg) our finance company lowered our monthly payments by a $100 a month.

This vehicle was purchased after hubby went active but this is an example of how some companies have specials programs they will do for deployed servicemembers even without the SSCRA.

One part of the SSCRA many military spouses and service members are unaware of is that the SSCRA does not only apply in war time but all the time. You will be able to visit the revised SSCRA policy in the resource links at the end of this post.

Another widely unknown tidbit is for those of us who are Military STAR Card holders.

According to Navytimes:

Exchange officials lower the interest rate to 6 percent on the Military STAR Card for both the current balance and new purchases.

You also do not have to make any payments while the servicemember is deployed on the Star Card..

The policy applies to those who are deployed for at least 90 days to a contingency operation or other forward area in a foreign country. To qualify, your account must be in good standing — you can’t be behind by more than one payment.

You can learn more about getting your interest reduced on Star Card at the link below:
http://www.aafes.com/docs/deploy0105-04.pdf

So in summary when your spouse leaves on their next deployment make a call to your CC companies, the company you finance your car through and AAFES to see what they can do for you. Keep in mind that your servicemember does not always have to be deployed to qualify for some of the SSCRA benefits.

To Learn more indepth about the SSCRA visit the resource links below:

http://www.military.com/benefits/legal-matters/scra/overview

http://creditinforesource.com/forums/index.php?topic=1740.0

http://www.phillysheriff.com/SSCRA.htm

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/sscra/l/blsscra.htm

Hooah & Smooches

Armywife101

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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of SoFluential.com a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

8 Comments on SSCRA Can Really Help You

  1. Would this work on a car that has been repossesed since he went actuve duty? Could we backdate the interest if we no longer have possession, but are still paying on the car?

  2. We used the SSCRA when my husband just went active duty and it was so easy! I simply wrote a letter to our car Financial department and credit cards stating that we wanted to use the SSCRA and then a copy of his orders and it was SOOOOO easy. Not a single one put up an argument. Good luck and TOTALLY use it if you need to! It will back date to his entry date!

  3. This is great! If a vehicle is financed under the spouse of an active duty soldier, could we still get the interest lowered on that vehicle?

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