Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Overview

Servicemembers who are called into active duty, are deployed, or are entering the military; most likely have major concerns beyond paying bills on time and maintaining a good credit history. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which expanded the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act, helps servicemembers retain good credit and eliminate financial stress while serving in the military.

The SCRA can help with a variety of financial concerns, such as:

Housing and automobile obligations

  • Servicemembers and their families are protected from being evicted for nonpayment of rents (up to a specified level that is annually adjusted for inflation).
  • Permits servicemembers who have been permanently or temporarily relocated to a new location to end a housing lease.
  • Allows for servicemembers to end an automobile lease under certain conditions.

Debt obligations

  • A limit of an interest rate of six percent (on credit incurred prior to military service only) can accrue on debt obligations while a service member is on active duty. After the service member retires or otherwise leaves active duty, any interest that accrued over the six percent cap must be forgiven. 

Lawsuits and trial obligations

  • Servicemembers can request a stay for any civil lawsuit (does not apply to criminal lawsuits) against them if their active duty status prevents them from being able to appear in court. 

Tax obligations

  • Allows a servicemember to retain their state residency for tax purposes, even if they are relocated to another state.

The SCRA covers members of the U.S. Military who are on active duty, as well as those reservists and National Guard members who have been called to active duty. 

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.