I have posted elsewhere on my site about the many benefits afforded by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). One of the most widely used benefits is the six percent cap on interest rates for loans taken before the servicemember enlisted. That means that if you have a mortgage, car loan, student loan, or credit card with an interest rate of over six percent, you can get it lowered and be reimbursed for the amount you paid because of the higher interest rate. When it comes to credit card debt, this could mean a refund of hundreds—even thousands—of dollars! Here’s how you do it.
Informing Your Credit Card Company
In general, you will need to notify the credit card companies in writing of your status and include a copy of your military orders. They are then obligated to lower your interest rate if it is higher than six percent and refund the interest you paid above six percent. They should also refund any fees you paid. This applies to debt you incurred before entering active duty. Unfortunately, the cap does not apply to debt incurred after entering active duty in most cases.
Check With Your Credit Card Company
Many banks and lenders actually go further than SCRA requirements and offer additional benefits to servicemembers. You may find that your credit card company will reduce your interest rate to even lower than six percent, will include debt you incurred after entering active duty, and will extend the benefit to spouses even if the account is not a joint account. Capital One, Discover, and Synchrony (holder of many store credit cards) all offer expanded benefits to servicemembers. These lenders have online forms to fill out and submit to request your benefits. It is worth your time to ask your lender or explore their websites to find out what they will do for you as an active duty servicemember.
The Cardoza Law Corporation Looks Out for You
If you are having trouble exercising your rights under the SCRA, reach out to me for help. Often, contact from me is all it takes to get you the benefits to which you are entitled, but if a landlord, lender, car dealer, or other company fails to adhere to SCRA rules, we may be able to file suit to get you what you deserve, plus additional monetary damages. I’m happy to explain how all of this works.
Contact me online or call me directly at 855.982.2400 and let's get started!