There is a Good Alternative to a Bad Payday Loan

Ever found yourself out of money with too many days before payday?  It has happened to most people.  In the past, it either meant taking an advance on your credit card, borrowing from friends or family, or getting a loan from a payday lender.  Thankfully, (at least for the Navy, Marine Corps,  Air Force and Coast Guard) the military relief societies developed a quick product to provide a small, short-term loan without those ridiculously high fees and interest rates.

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Air Force Aid Society and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance organization each offer a variety of a quick, low-documentation loan with no interest and no fees.  The details are a little different for each, but they basically require only a military ID card and a Leave and Earnings Statement.  The application is simple and doesn’t require the full budget counseling for a regular loan.  Repayments are spread over several months and are made via allotment.

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) Quick Assist Loans:

  • Who:  active duty sailors or Marines, or activated reservists with sufficient time on their activation.  Must not have any outstanding NMCRS society loans.
  • What:  up to $300 for emergency basic living expenses
  • Repayment: within 10 months or by ETS date

Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) Falcon Loans

Who:  active duty airmen and spouses with a Power of Attorney based at an Air Force base with an Airman & Family Readiness Center, plus activated reservists and Air National Guard members on Title 10 orders.  Can not have an outstanding AFAS loan.

What:  up to $500 for emergency basic living expenses

Where:  apply at your Airman & Family Readiness Center

Repayment:  within 10 months or by ETS date

Download the application here.

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) Quick Loan Program

  • Who:  active duty Coast Guard members and activated reservists.  Can not have an outstanding CGMA loan.
  • What:  up to $500 for emergency basic living expenses
  • Where:  apply through your Commanding Officer or Officer-in-Charge
  • Repayment:  via allotment, usually within 12 months of date of loan.

These loans are undeniably a better alternative to any sort of payday loan.  There is no interest, the repayment terms are reasonable, and they can be obtained quickly at a convenient location.  I applaud the relief societies for organizing such a smart product to help our service members.  Hopefully you will never need to use one of these loans, but file it away in your “good to know” file in case you do.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.