Many U.S. military posts are surrounded by suspicious predatory financial businesses that target young servicemembers with small savings accounts and no credit histories, according to a recent Huffington Post report. Cash advance businesses and some electronics dealers offer high-risk financing tactics – such as buy now, pay later – to attract new customers.
The Department of Defense published a report in 2006, explaining how high-interest lenders purposely choose locations near and around military towns, and then entice soldiers into loans they cannot afford.
"The thing with the military is the paychecks aren't large, but they're absolutely guaranteed twice a month," Holly Petraeus, wife of Army General and top Army commander, David Petraeus, told the news provider. "And the military has a culture that says, 'You will pay your bills.' Definitely troops are well-aware of that, and they're afraid of the consequences if they don't. So that gives real leverage to lenders who will sometimes threaten them, or take advantage of their fear of getting in trouble with their units."
Servicemembers who become wrangled in schemes that unfairly target consumers may end up with blemishes on their credit reports. When this happens, they may benefit from speaking with a credit repair company, which can work with the credit bureaus to investigate or remove such negative marks.