Office of Servicemember Affairs to keep military loans honest

A young military family – husband, wife and baby – are seated together on their front porch.

This July, families considering military loans will be able to seek advice from the Office of Servicemember Affairs. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Robert Niehaus/RDN)

Young military families face numerous financial challenges, as deployments and household relocation wreak havoc. That’s why Elizabeth Warren and the soon-to-be-active Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appointed Holly Petraeus, wife of U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, to chair the Office of Servicemember Affairs. NPR reports that with Holly Petraeus looking out for military families as a consumer advocate, the world will be safe for military loans.

Holly Petraeus is ‘Mom, apple pie and a pit bull’

According to Rod Davis, a colleague of Holly Petraeus’ at the Better Business Bureau, the Office of Servicemember Affairs new chairwoman is all-American and a fighter.

“She’s Mom, apple pie and also a pit bull,” he said. “You get her in your corner and watch her go.”

Fight is exactly what Petraeus, 58, did as the head of the Better Business Bureau’s Military Line program, which provides free financial literacy and consumer protection information to U.S. military communities. In the top position at the Office for Servicemember Affairs, Holly Petraeus plans to help educate military families on when such things as payday loans and installment loans – referred to military loans for active military and their immediate families – are a good idea. Also, Petraeus will work with the CFPB to help combat overly expensive variations on military loans that attempt to skirt federal lending laws.

Petraeus has been there before

As a military wife of 35 years, Holly Petraeus and her husband, Gen. David Petraeus, know what it’s like to make impulsive financial decisions. Everyone is young once, but that doesn’t mean one has to make harmful financial decisions in order to learn valuable life lessons. Unlike the civilian population, where problem debt can roll on for some time through collections and the legal system, military members who don’t pay their creditors can be forced to pay by their superiors. That’s why it’s a better not to learn the hard way with military loans, says Petraeus.

The Office of Servicemember Affairs is slated to open for business in July 2011, when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opens its doors.


Better Business Bureau


Holly Petraeus on military loans

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