The CFPB is committed to addressing 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. We are here to ensure that the military community’s concerns are heard—and that we do something about them.
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.
When a servicemember couldn’t get anywhere with his mortgage lender, Captain Jamison helped him submit a complaint.
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
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.
What we’ve heard from servicemembers
We’ve received more than 70,000 complaints from servicemembers, veterans, and their family members. Their experiences tell us a lot about priorities in the market and where to focus.
Bringing actions against bad actors
We’ve recovered millions in relief for servicemembers from companies that targeted them with scams or illegal practices.
Pushing for better protections
Strengthening the Military Lending Act
Congress enacted the MLA to protect servicemembers from loans with a military annual percentage rate over 36 percent, with some exceptions. The initial rule implementing the MLA applied its protections to a very limited set of products, including narrowly-defined payday loans, auto title loans, and tax refund anticipation loans. In July 2015, the Department of Defense changed the implementing regulation so that more products are covered by the law’s protections. The products covered now more closely align with the traditional definition of consumer credit.
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.
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.
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.
Providing tools for educators and servicemembers
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.
Tools & Resources
Ask CFPB – Get straightforward answers to financial questions affecting 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.
STATE CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION RESOURCES FOR SERVICEMEMBERS
We’ve compiled a listing of the consumer financial protection resources available to servicemembers and their families in each of the 50 states. Generally, these resources are provided by the Consumer Protection Division/Units of the State Attorney General. Several states centralize consumer protection services under a separate state government office such as the Department of Consumer Affairs or the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The inclusion of these state resources are especially important to servicemembers and their families as they move from duty station to duty station and are often unfamiliar with the consumer protection assistance available to them.
Office of the Attorney General. “Military and Veterans.”
Department of Justice. Office of the Attorney General. “Military Consumer Protection.”
Office of the Attorney General. “Stop Fraud Colorado—Military.”
Chief Financial Officer. “Empowering and Protecting Florida’s Military Consumers.”
Military Consumer Protection Resource Page
Office of the Attorney General. “Military & Veterans Rights.”
Office of the Attorney General. “Protecting Military Servicemembers.”
Office of the Attorney General. Consumer Protection Division. “Military Families.”
Office of the Attorney General. “Consumer Protection Guide for Military Servicemembers.”
Office of the Attorney General. “Resource Guide for Servicemembers and Veterans.”
Office of the Attorney General. “Resource Guide for Veterans and Servicemembers.”
Office of the Attorney General. “Legal Protections and Rights Available to Military Servicemembers.”
Office of the Attorney General. “Veterans and Servicemembers.”
Office of the Attorney General. “Resources for Military Service Personnel and Families.”
Military Consumer Protection Tips
Office of the Attorney General. “Veterans & Service Members Resource Guide.”
Department of Justice. Office of the Attorney General. “Tips for Military Personnel.”
Office of the Attorney General. “Services for Military and Veterans.”
Department of Justice. Veterans Resources, Consumer Protections. “Consumer Protections for Military Personnel and Military Spouses.”
Office of the Attorney General. Office of Military and Veterans Affairs. “Office of Military and Veterans Affairs Protecting Consumers.”
Office of the Attorney General and Reporter. “Consumer Protection Guide for Consumer Affairs Counselors and United States Military Servicemembers.
Office of the Attorney General. “Veterans Assistance – Resources”
Office of the Attorney General. “Consumer Protections for Veterans & Military Personnel.”