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Information for servicemembers

The job of the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is to work on consumer financial challenges affecting servicemembers, veterans and their families. We do that through financial education, monitoring of complaints submitted by consumers to the CFPB, and coordinating with other Federal and state agencies on military consumer protection measures. We understand that military life has some extra challenges, such as deployment and frequent moves, and that those challenges can have powerful financial repercussions. Our job is to make sure that others understand the unique consumer financial challenges faced by the military, and to encourage the CFPB and other agencies use their powers to make financial markets work better for our military and veteran families.

Those who serve, or have served, our country should not have to worry about falling victim to unfair, deceptive, or abusive financial practices. OSA represents the military community at the CFPB to ensure that its concerns are heard—and that we do something about them.

Your stories

The servicemembers we work for aren’t statistics in uniform. When they contact the CFPB for help, we learn more about how companies act in the market and how bad actions hurt military families. These stories matter.

Captain Jamison video thumbnail

When a servicemember couldn’t get anywhere with his mortgage lender, Captain Jamison helped him submit a complaint.

Harry video thumbnail

Harry spoke up when he noticed his son struggling with a car loan; he ended up helping thousands of servicemembers.

Taking action to assist servicemembers

Get answers

If you have a complaint against a financial company, you can submit it to us. We’ll forward your issue to the company, give you a tracking number, and keep you updated on the status of your complaint. We also have answers to common consumer issues right at your fingertips.

Submit your complaint.
Get straightforward answers to financial questions affecting servicemembers.

What we’ve heard from servicemembers

We’ve received more than 35,000 complaints from servicemembers, veterans, and their family members. Their experiences tell us a lot about priorities in the market and where to focus.

Read our 2015 Report on complaints from servicemembers
See our report from 2014
See the full database of consumers’ complaints

Pushing for better protections

Strengthening the Military Lending Act

The MLA should protect members of the military, but loopholes have cost servicemembers millions of dollars. We’re shedding light on what these loopholes cost, what DoD is proposing to do about it, and how we can better protect people in uniform.

Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation
Report: how MLA loopholes hurt servicemembers
Guide to protecting servicemembers in the payday lending market
CFPB statement on proposed amendments to strengthen the MLA

Protecting Servicemembers from abuses in the allotment system

The military discretionary allotment system allows servicemembers to automatically direct a portion of their paycheck to financial institutions or people of their choosing. However, military personnel using the allotment system instead of other automatic payment options like ACH (Automated Clearing House) can end up losing out on certain legal protections. In November 2014, Secretary Hagel announced important changes to the allotment system in order to better protect from abuses.

CFPB Cautions Military Lenders Against Illegal Military Allotment Practices
What you should know about allotments
Statement on DoD allotment system reforms

Helping Struggling Military Homeowners

Together with prudential regulators from the Federal Reserve System, the FDIC, NCUA and the OCC, we issued joint guidance to address mortgage servicer practices that may put military homeowners at risk.

Other federal regulators have helped as well. In June 2012, the FHFA issued guidance stating that PCSing military homeowners who obtained a short sale for FHFA loans would not have to pay the deficiency if there was a loss.

Changes to the HAMP program also helped struggling military homeowners by altering the definition of “primary residence” to take into account a PCS move and subsequent relocation.

Advocating for resources for servicemembers, veterans, and their families

Military education benefits and student loans

Most people paying for higher education take out student loans. Servicemembers, veterans, and their families have special options that could save them money and make them better off in the long run.

Report on student loan servicing and the cost to our men and women in uniform (July 2015)
Action guide for servicemembers: minimize your student loan payments
Report on student loan servicing and the cost to our men and women in uniform (October 2012)
GI Bill calculator

Know your options when it comes to repaying your loans. We have tools that can help you point you in the right direction.

Repaying Student Debt

Safeguarding veterans benefits

Depending on when you’re discharged, some of your veterans’ benefits kick in quickly while others come later. At every point, we want to make sure you protect what’s rightfully yours.

Protect your pension from poachers
Can a debt collector take my VA benefits?
Your benefits are protected from garnishment

Providing tools for educators and servicemembers

Virtual training

The Office of Servicemember Affairs hosts an ongoing series of online Military Financial Educator eLearnings on consumer financial topics for military leaders, Command Financial Specialist, service providers who deliver financial, educational, or legal counseling to servicemembers and their families.

View our latest virtual training topics here.

Tools & Resources

Ask CFPB

Get straightforward answers to financial questions affecting servicemembers.
Fraud protection tools to help
safeguard servicemembers

Find a Professional

Guide to choosing a financial professional.
Find a local military Personal Financial Manager to help you navigate the confusing consumer financial marketplace.
Find an Armed Forces Legal Assistance attorney close to you.

Latest posts from the Office of Servicemember Affairs

Servicemembers: Protecting your credit when you’re away from home – Holly Petraeus, 09/1/2015

The launch of the CFPB financial coaching initiative – Holly Petraeus and Daniel Dodd-Ramirez, 05/20/2015

Here’s what we’re hearing from Servicemembers and their families – Holly Petraeus, 04/27/2015

The VA doesn’t send you mortgage ads – Holly Petraeus, 04/09/2015

Consumer advisory: 3 pension advance traps to avoid – Holly Petraeus and Nora Down Eisenhower, 03/16/2015

Are unpaid debts a military career-killer? – Holly Petraeus, 01/09/2015

Freedom Stores to provide over $2.5 million in refunds and penalties – Holly Petraeus, 12/18/2014

Social Security disability income shouldn’t mean you don’t qualify for a mortgage – Holly Petraeus and Patrice Ficklin, 11/19/2014

Veterans: Take advantage of student loan forgiveness, but don’t let it damage your credit – Holly Petraeus and Rohit Chopra, 11/17/2014

Working together to protect student veterans – Holly Petraeus, 08/26/2014

Connect with us

Email military@cfpb.gov

Twitter icon Follow @cfpbmilitary

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