509-247-2246

Credit Topics

Eligibility for Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC) Assistance
All Department of Defense personnel (active-duty, Guard, Reserve, APF and NAF civilians, retirees, widows) and their dependents. Receive reliable information, financial counseling, information and referral

The Military Lending Act limits the cost of credit to servicemembers and families to 36% to include certain additional fees and charges. This includes a broader range of credit products than previously covered.
 
Credit Reports
Free credit report, credit score and analysis for active-duty personnel and their spouse; assistance with credit report review, and assistance with contacting creditors, exploring payment arrangements, and disputing errors on their credit reports

Before You Apply for a Loan
Learn how lenders view your credit report, what you can do to get a better interest rate, how to shop for a loan

Debt Reduction, Security Clearance Issues
A&FRC financial counselors can help you develop a plan of attack for paying debt and collections. If you're concerned about obtaining a Government Travel Card (GTC), security clearance, or just want to get your credit in shape, get free and confidential* financial counseling. Call 509-247-2246 to set up an appointment or speak with a counselor over the phone. A&FRC staff members also refer to free, reputable, non-military resources for credit education and counseling. A partial listing is below:

AnnualCreditReport.com
Annual Credit Report is the only free, government-backed site for accessing your credit report. Everyone is entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus per year. You should never have to pay or subscribe to a service to receive your free annual credit report.  Experian    Equifax    TransUnion
Servicemembers who deploy can place an active duty alert on their credit reports to help minimize their risk of identity theft.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the government agency over all financial services in the United States - everything from credit cards to banking to fraud. Important resources include:
  • Getting Credit - also repairing and maintaining credit. Learn more about identity theft, credit rights, scams, and what to do if your wallet or purse is stolen
  • Building a Better Credit Report -  FAQs and complete overview of your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit disputes, anti-discrimination laws, and fair lending laws
  • Credit Repair - How to Help Yourself
  • How to Dispute Credit Report Errors - clear instructions for disputes, including a sample credit dispute letter
  • Identity Theft - the federal government's free, one-stop resource to help people fix problems caused by identity theft
The SCRA provides legal and financial protections to servicemembers - including maximums on interest rates, stays of certain legal proceedings, protection from eviction, and termination of leases without repercussions. It applies to all active duty personnel, as well as National Guard and Reservists activated on federal orders. Many protections also apply to military dependents.
Under SCRA, servicemembers can have interest rates on most of their their loans capped at 6%. This generally applies only to loans acquired before entering military service. It also includes many special protections for deployers, renters, and those facing legal action. Usually, it's easy to apply the SCRA - you just need to send a letter and confirmation of orders to your creditors. A&FRC staff or the base legal office can help you with any part of that process. For more details, follow the link above or contact the A&FRC at 509-247-2246; base legal office at 509-247-2838
A free Department of Defense service for active duty, Guard, and Reserve members. MOS consultants can help you develop a budget, identify spending pitfalls, learn to manage your debt, and set short- and long-term financial goals. For military members struggling to get out of debt, they help you find reputable debt counseling and management companies so you can avoid scams. Their services are free, private, and confidential, with few exceptions. Military One Source is available 24/7 online and by phone at 800-342-9647. MOS also provides free audiobooks, webinars, and books through their website
MMI offers free budget and debt counseling to those who need help with budgeting, money management skills, and credit issues. Their website is an excellent resource articles, videos, and eBooks on debt management, couples finance, budgeting, foreclosure prevention, reverse mortgages, credit scores and reporting, bankruptcy, homebuying, and credit repair. MMI offers local classes and webinars in many subjects, including HUD-approved homebuying course
   
For those who need a more structured plan for paying their debt, MMI administers an extremely low-cost debt management plan. Certified budget and debt counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. They also welcome walk-ins and appointments at their offices at 4407 N. Division, Spokane WA 99207
(in the Banner Bank building, 2 blocks south of Northtown Mall) 
MMI is holds a memorandum of understanding and is an official Department of Defense partner

Further Reading
The National Consumer Law Center's Surviving Debt is an excellent, complete guide to credit and credit reports. The book covers prioritizing debts, dealing with debt collectors, understanding credit reports, budgeting, and everything you need to know to build and maintain good credit. You can find it at most libraries and book stores. New editions come out every 1-2 years, including current and updated credit laws and rights.

*A&FRC staff are required to contact proper authorities about information that pertains to a violation or possible violation of AFI 36-2014, AFI 40-301, or admission of a crime in violation of the UCMJ, federal or state law. 

    

Federal endorsement not intended. The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Air Force or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and morale, welfare and recreation sites, the U.S. Air Force does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links provided are consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.