My Military Space
There's always a better way
8/12/2005 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE
BASE, Va. (ACCNS) -- The Airman had $600 left until payday,
which was fine until her car broke down, and with it, a $1,000
Two friends offered to help her out. The first offered an
interest-free loan of $500. The second offered a $500 loan for a
$75 fee, and said if the Airman couldn't pay the money back in
two weeks, additional fees would be charged.
So who would you borrow from the Air Force Aid Society or your
local payday lender?
The answer might seem obvious, but Airmen are still using payday
loans to help them get by in tight financial situations when
they could be getting help from their own organization the Air
When (Airmen) find themselves in a desperate situation where
they feel like there's nothing else and no other option, they
make the decision to use a payday loan, said Gayle Brinkley,
community readiness policy analyst for the Air Combat Command
Directorate of Personnel Family Matters Branch.
Yet, for others, the use of these high interest loans is
attractive because of a fear of repercussions from their
I was an Airman, and I didn't want to get in trouble, said Staff
Sgt. Darnell Cox, a munitions journeyman with Langley's 1st
Equipment Maintenance Squadron. Sergeant Cox said he knew he
wasn't necessarily being financially responsible, but didn't
want others to know his business.
Sergeant Cox said he started using payday loans several years
ago as an Airman after he saw a TV commercial for a local payday
loan lender. He did an Internet search on the nearest location,
and was on his way to the first of more than 40 payday loans
over the next two years.
Although the Airman paid his loans on time, he said he regrets
using them because of the high fees or interest rates, which can
range from 391 percent to 1,300 percent annually.
In the course of a year, I wasted $1,800 in fees alone, said
Sergeant Cox. Its money I could've saved instead of giving away.
(The loans are) designed to keep you coming back, the sergeant
said. You figure you go over there a couple of times, and you'll
be good to go; but you can never make it past the loan.
Ms. Brinkley explained that, like Sergeant Cox, many Airmen may
plan to pay off the loan with their next paycheck; however,
other expenses often arise. It happens all the time, and then it
becomes a cycle until all of a sudden its out of control.
Susie Markel, Langley Family Support Center community readiness
consultant, recalls an NCO who came to the FSC with 10
outstanding payday loans.
He was paying $565 every two weeks just to keep them off his
back, and ended up filing for bankruptcy, she said.
She explained that not only can out-of-control payday loans
damage credit; they can also damage Air Force careers. Financial
irresponsibility can cost a member anything from a letter of
counseling, to an Article 15, Uniform Code of Military Justice
action, or in severe cases, a discharge from the Air Force.
After about a years worth of payday loans, the then-Airman Cox
decided to get help from Langley's FSC. There, he qualified for
an interest-free AFAS loan that helped him cover living expenses
such as mortgage payments, rent, car repairs, utilities and
phone bills while he repaid the payday loans. The center even
helped him develop a budget.
They worked magic; I don't know how they did it, he said.
But like Sergeant Cox, many service members may think if they
borrow money from Air Force Aid Society, it will get back to the
first sergeant or commander and that's not necessarily true,
said Ms. Markel, Langley FSC community readiness consultant.
Although there may be times when circumstances require the FSC
to inform the first sergeant or commander, AFAS loans are
handled on a case-by-case basis, and the center encourages
Airmen to seek assistance if they need it.
They think its a bad thing that they had to reach out for help,
Although he's on solid financial ground now, Sergeant Cox said
looking back, he wishes he would've asked for help sooner
instead of worrying about getting in trouble. By getting help,
he would've actually had one less thing to worry about.
If I didn't get help, Id probably still be stressed out about
how I'm going to pay this, or how I'm going to pay that, he
said. Id be in a worse situation than I was.
Sergeant Cox said whether people get help from the FSC or a
financial institution that offers a low interest consolidation
loan, there are alternatives to payday loans.
There's always a better way, he said.
seeks your participation. If you have an editorial, blog, video, Web site, tactical
decision game or other
content that you would like to see featured at MilitarySpot.com, please
Copyright MilitarySpot.com |
News and information about military loans.
KEYWORDS: military, military loans, news, information, articles, pioneer
military loan, omni military loan, military payday loan, bad credit military
loan, military personal loan, military auto loan, us military loan, military
car loan, no credit check military loan, military debt consolidation loan,
military financial loan, military va loan, military loan company, military
computer loan, advance cash, guaranteed, no fax, online, fast, easy,
allotment, poor credit, active duty, army , navy, air force, marines, marine
corps, coast guard, patriot, mypay loans, spouse, com, personal, signature
LINKS: military -
pioneer military loans -
va loans -
military singles -
military shopping -
blackhawk tactical gear -