DALLAS – The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), introduced in 1940 as the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, was established to protect active duty service members from what might happen to their financial or legal obligations after they start military service.
Decades later, the Military Star Card was established in response to military leadership’s concerns regarding a growing number of rent-to-own, pay-advancement schemes and unacceptably high interest rate scams that military personnel were encountering.
Today, the Military Star Card and SCRA both serve to protect our military, but it can be confusing to find where one ends and the other begins.
While interest rates offered by the Military Star TM Card are very competitive with industry leaders, the card is usually subject to the interest rate agreed upon at the beginning of the contract, not the special interest rates that apply to debt incurred prior to military service under the SCRA.
“The SCRA is a great way to ease the transition to active duty life and reduce service members’ existing financial burden,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Chief Tony Pearson. “However, the special interest rates guaranteed by the SCRA apply only to debt incurred before the start of military service, not to purchases made while on active duty.”
The SCRA benefits Military Star Card holders under certain circumstances: Since many reservists are not considered active duty but are entitled to Exchange privileges, reservists with Military Star TM Card accounts can see interest on existing Military Star Card balances reduced to 6 percent under the SCRA when activated.