Active members of the military, veterans, and their families are routinely facing complex challenges in their daily lives. Among the matters that weigh heavy on servicemembers and their families are debt management and savings, which are common challenges for civilians, as well. Among the aspects of military life that pose challenges to personal financial management:
– With each move, military families are presented with new housing choices and a different local economy to consider. Length of time at a duty station, employment options for spouses, and cost of living are all factors that can have a significant impact on household budgets and savings plans.
Employment for Military Spouses
– A single income is often not enough to make ends meet; however, the changing local economy and the cycle of relocation make it nearly impossible for spouses to maintain steady employment. Carefully planning a budget to operate on a single income when necessary is the key to balance income and expenses while avoiding unnecessary reliance on debt.
– Deployed members of the military are protected from a pileup of interest and fees on existing debts through the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA, also known as the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act or SCRA). Although this protection can cap annual interest rates at 6 percent during deployment, it only applies to debt incurred before beginning active duty and requires a written request for relief to the lender. Responsible debt management that prevents further balance increases is an important consideration for deployed servicemembers and their families on the home front.
Transition to Civilian Life
– Employers are encouraged to hire military veterans for a number of good reasons. Former servicemembers are among the best trained and most highly skilled employees available in today’s workforce. With all of the advantages of a distinguished military record, there can still be a few bumps along the way during the move from active duty to civilian life. Changes in salary and housing expenses can pose their own challenges that may require some reliable advice from objective sources.
“The men and women who serve our country as members of the military are faced with unique circumstances that can impact the financial choices they make,” says National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) President and CEO Susan C. Keating. “Our network of member agencies is proud to provide professional resources to guide military members and their families through financial matters throughout all stages of military life.”
Published with permission from RISMedia.