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Air Force Aid Society provides alternative to pay-day loans

  • Published
Air Force Aid Society officials are pleased to announce the new Falcon Loan program available to Air Force members beginning March 3. A Falcon Loan is an interest-free loan of $500 or less that can be used for emergency needs such as basic living expenses -- rent, utilities and food -- car repairs, emergency travel or other approved needs. Applying for a Falcon Loan is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Download the application from the AFAS Web site.
2. Get your ID card and current leave and earnings statement
3. Go to your Airman and Family Readiness Center

"The ease of the Falcon Loan program will hopefully encourage Airmen to turn to their Airman and Family Readiness Centers in times of financial need and not be ensnared by potentially career-damaging debt traps," said Chief Master Sgt. Pamela Derrow, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe command chief master sgt.

"This program is just another example of AFAS' continued effort to help take care of our Airmen," she said.

The streamlined application process for a Falcon Loan requires no budget information, backup documentation or first sergeant or commander approval. Minimal information required to process an allotment or Paymatic transaction -- automatic withdrawal from bank account -- and a signature is all that is needed to complete the application.

The relaxed approach to the loan process comes with the hope that Airmen will feel less threatened to come forward for help, and perhaps after getting a Falcon Loan will establish a relationship that draws them back to the A&FRC for a follow-up visit to discuss their financial situation.

"One of the important missions of Airman and Family Readiness Centers is to promote financial readiness," said Ms. Gretchen Shannon from the USAFE Airman and Family Readiness Branch. "The new AFAS Falcon Loan program will be helpful in diverting some Airmen faced with financial emergencies away from high interest pay-day lenders. The Airman and Family Readiness teams will be ready and available to assist members when the new program rolls out."

To be eligible for a Falcon Loan, you must be an active duty Air Force member or spouse with power of attorney stationed at an Air Force base with an A&FRC, and cannot have a current Air Force Aid Society loan. You will be expected to repay your Falcon Loan by allotment within 10 months or by your estimated-time-of-separation date if less than 10 months.

Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard personnel activated on Title 10 orders at the time of application are eligible for a Falcon Loan as well.

The Falcon Loan is a complement to the AFAS's standard emergency assistance loan/grant program. Receiving a Falcon Loan does not make you ineligible to receive a standard AFAS loan/grant while you are repaying your Falcon Loan.

For more information on the Falcon Loan program, please visit your Airman and Family Readiness Center or the AFAS Web site.