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I am an active duty servicemember thinking about refinancing or consolidating my existing debt. What should I watch out for?

Before you refinance or consolidate existing debt, consider whether your loan or debt is covered by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  

The CFPB’s Debt Collection Rule clarifying certain provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) became effective on November 30, 2021.

For servicemembers with loans taken out before entering active duty military service, the SCRA provides a variety of protections including an interest rate reduction down to 6 percent and foreclosure protections, among others.

If you are on active duty when you refinance or consolidate, the new loan will not be covered under the protections of the SCRA since it is no longer considered a pre-service loan. For example, if you took out a student loan before you entered active duty, but then consolidate that student loan after entering active duty, you would not then be able to request an interest rate reduction down to 6 percent on that new consolidation loan. 

Learn more about additional student loan benefits for servicemembers

Or, if you took out a mortgage before you entered active duty, and want to refinance after active duty, you would lose the foreclosure protections provided under the SCRA. 

Learn more about the SCRA foreclosure protections.

Learn more about the 6 percent interest rate protection for active duty servicemembers under the SCRA. 

Learn more about whether you're covered by the SCRA.

Learn more about the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act from the Department of Justice .

If you still have questions about your rights under the SCRA, contact your local JAG office for more information. To find your JAG Legal Assistance Office use the locator . You also may be able to get assistance from your state attorney general .