Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have more than one active loan?

Eligible Soldiers may have more than one active loan. If your first zero-interest loan was a routine request through your local AER office, you are eligible for additional zero-interest loans either through a routine request with your local AER office or through command approval with our Quick Assist Program. Your total combined loan balance cannot exceed $3,000. For example, if you currently owe $500, your next loan cannot be greater than $2,500. Additionally, if your first loan was through command approval with our Quick Assist Program, additional loans must be a routine request with your local AER office.

Where can I find AER’s most recent IRS 990?

All governance and legal filings can be found on our resources page.

Does AER accept donations of clothing, furniture, vehicles, airline miles, or care packages?

No. Donations of vehicles can be made through other vendors and AER can be selected as the recipient of the value. Other military charities such as the Fisher House Foundation receive and process unused airline miles. Care packages can be organized through the U.S. Army’s own “Gifts to the Army” program.

Can donations be designated to the benefit of a specific program?

Donations can be earmarked for use for specific programs. Our three funds are: general (available to any Soldier with a valid need), educational scholarships, or Army Wounded Warriors.

Can donations be designated to benefit certain Soldiers or locations?

Our tax-exempt status does not permit the earmarking of donations for specific Soldiers or locations. All campaign contributions are made available to any Soldier with a valid need anywhere in the world. We can, however, credit your donation to a specific Army installation’s annual campaign performance. To have your donation credited to a certain installation, please send your donation to the AER office at that installation or send it to our headquarters office and note the installation you wish to credit your donation to. You can also designate an installation when you make a credit card or allotment donation online.

Do you accept allotments from DoD civilian pay?

Yes. Civilians can start a discretionary allotment for AER through their MyPay account. Please contact us for additional instructions.

What is the Army’s Annual AER Campaign?

Since 1942, the U.S. Army has conducted an internal fundraising campaign to support AER. The campaign begins on 1 March every year with a series of kick-off events at Army installations around the world. Installation campaigns are managed by Soldiers and the Army Emergency Relief officer at each base. The primary goal of the annual campaign is to spread awareness about the programs and benefits of AER and invite Soldiers to join the legacy of Soldiers helping Soldiers.

Does AER participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)?

No. The Army hosts an annual AER fundraising campaign each year.

Is my donation tax deductible?

AER is a registered 501(c)(3) charity which means your donation may be tax deductible. Talk to your accountant for more information. (FEIN is 53-0196552)

I already have a bachelors degree. Can I apply for a second degree or a master’s program?

No, Spouse Education Assistance Program scholarships cannot be used toward second undergraduate degrees or graduate-level courses.

Can an applicant receive a Spouse Education Assistance Program scholarship covering multiple academic years?

Applicants may receive scholarships each year, but they must re-apply every year.

How are scholarship funds distributed?

If you are awarded a scholarship, the scholarship funds are mailed directly to the school indicated on your scholarship agreement. Half of your award is mailed prior to each fall and spring semester. If you are awarded summer funds, the check will be mailed to the school prior to the start of the term. The funds may be used for tuition, fees, books, and supplies. For recipients of the children’s scholarship program, funds may also be used for room and board expenses.

Are scholarship awards the same every year?

Scholarship awards vary each year based on the total number of applicants in each program and budget amount allotted to the scholarship program.

Who is eligible for AER scholarships?

Spouses and children of Soldiers (active or retired) or active on Title 10 Orders for the entire academic year are eligible to apply for our scholarship programs.

Can I make additional payments on my loan?

Yes. It is important to note that these additional payments will not replace a monthly allotment. When the payment is received, AER will adjust the stop date for the running allotment. AER must receive and post your payment by the 9th of the month for Retire pay and the 20th of the month for Active Duty pay.

Do I need to stop the allotment once my loan is paid in full?

No. The allotment is scheduled to stop automatically once the loan is paid in full.

How do I start a DFAS allotment?

AER will contact DFAS to start the allotment on your behalf.

Who can repay loans by allotment?

Active duty and retired Soldiers receiving pay through DFAS are eligible for loan repayment through allotment.

How do I know the website is secure?

The web site is secured using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, which ensures that your account numbers and personal data are always encrypted when sent over the internet. You will always know that SSL is in use when you see HTTPS instead of HTTP in the URL address.