At ACCC, we appreciate the service and sacrifice of active duty military members and veterans. We understand that veterans often face different financial challenges than the general population. We offer budgeting tips and resources for military members and veterans, and we will outline what you need to know about veterans’ debt relief.
Military Members & Debt
According to Veterans United, military members tend to accumulate more debt on average than civilians. One of the reasons for so much debt accumulation is the fact that military families move so often. The costs associated with moving can add up fast. Additionally, moving around so much means that a military spouse might not be able to find a high-paying job, so military families are often single income households.
The stress of a military lifestyle can also contribute to debt accumulation. When a military member is deployed, the burden of taking care of the finances for the family fall on the spouse back at home. If the military couple doesn’t communicate about finances, they may miss a payment on a credit card or other bill. Missing payments can lead to more debt and lower credit scores.
If a military member starts to get overwhelmed with debt, they might not ask for help right away. A common reason they do not ask for help is a fear of losing their security clearance if their superior finds out. Ignoring the problem, however, can make the situation worse. Not getting help with debt means that the debt just continues to grow. So what options are available for veterans’ debt relief?
Veterans’ Debt Relief Options
There are several debt relief options available to veterans. A common option for debt relief is debt consolidation. This option involves combining multiple debts into a single loan. Only having to make one payment on your debts instead of multiple payments every month makes it easier to stay on top of the bills. The new loan will likely have a lower interest rate than some of your credit card debt payments, so you could be saving some money. The downside of debt consolidation is that it is not always available to everybody. Because it is a loan, you need to have a good credit score in order to get approved.
An alternative to debt consolidation is debt management. A debt management plan works in a similar way, in that your debts are combined into one monthly payment. However, debt management does not involve taking out a loan. These programs are administered by a nonprofit credit counseling agency, and they negotiate with credit card companies to get you lower interest rates and waived fees. Additionally, there are no credit requirements, so if your credit score isn’t stellar, no worries!
Financial Education for Military & Veterans
Financial education can give you the knowledge you need to make better decisions with your money! ACCC has a plethora of online financial education resources you can use to help you manage your finances. We have tips on budgeting, credit, preparing for retirement, and avoiding identity theft. These aren’t just specific to military members – anyone can use them!
If you are struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Call 800-769-3571 today to speak to a certified credit counselor.