JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —
You’ve seen the advertisements “Get fast instant approval, no credit checks, payday advance loans, get money right now” from companies that make quick loans, like payday lenders or car title loans.
While they may seem enticing or a terrific option during times when money is needed quickly, they don’t come cheap.
More often than not, that instant money comes at a very expensive price. Many of these lenders tack on extra fees and extremely high interest rates – up to 36 percent – which can hinder the borrower’s ability to repay the debt. Predatory lending practices and high-cost credit pose risks to financial readiness.
If you’re in a money crunch, think about whether you can get money from somewhere else. Consider a loan from a bank, credit union or military relief society. Depending on your situation, using a credit card may even be better option than a payday loan.
If faced with financial trouble, know that there is help for you. All Department of Defense ID cardholders can speak with a personal financial counselor at a Joint Base San Antonio Military & Family Readiness Center to help find answers to financial questions and learn about available options.
Military OneSource also offers support to service members and their families. Their help line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The phone number is 1-800-342-9647, and they can help with:
· Getting an extension to pay your bills
· Potentially getting an advance on a paycheck
· Connecting you with a certified credit counselor who can help make a plan for managing your money
· Getting help from a military relief society
One of the Military & Family Readiness Center missions’ is to provide financial education, information and counseling that equips service members to address their current personal financial situations, maximize their financial resources and effectively handle any financial challenges that may arise throughout their military life-cycle.
For more information, call JBSA-Fort Sam Houston M&FRC at 210-221-2507, JBSA-Lackland M&FRC at 210-671-3722, or JBSA-Randolph at 210-652-5321.
(D.C. Lanier is an accredited financial counselor at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Military & Family Readiness Center)