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.

Army Emergency Relief

Air Force Aid Society

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance