Payday lenders are found around military bases throughout the country. These lenders offer high-interest, short-term loans for emergency situations such as car repairs. If the loan is rolled over repeatedly, however, the effective APR can skyrocket to the annual equivalent of 300% or more.
Instead of spending exorbitant amounts of money to pay for a loan, each branch of the armed forces has a no-interest Emergency Relief Fund to assist troops with those same needs. These organizations offer interest-free loans to cover emergency situations including food, rent, utilities, medical expenses, car repair, emergency travel, and more.
If a loan would cause undue financial hardship, it may be turned into a grant, which wouldn’t need to be repaid, or a combination loan and grant. For those who meet certain eligibility requirements, aid societies also provide educational scholarships for children and spouses, including surviving spouses, of military personnel.