FDR promised he would give Britain "All aid short of war" in the summer and fall of 1940. On of his first programs, in addition to the later ones mentioned above, was the "Cash and Carry" program.
Congress was reluctant to vote for aid to England because they did not want to be draw into the war. The population of America was isolationist, having just emerged from the Great Depression. "Cash" meant that Britain would pay for any weapons purchases in full. "Carry" meant that they would carry these weapons on their own ships, so that American ships would not be sunk, drawing us into war as well.
It worked great until Britain ran out of both cash and escort ships, and then we had to proceed to the aid steps mentioned in the previous post.