Helping Veterans Fight The Battle Of The Budget
North American Precis Syndicate
There are many ways veterans and their families stressed by debt can get relief. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—Being a warrior can be stressful enough, but for 62 percent
of active-duty service members, veterans and military families, there’s
added stress due to their financial situation, according to a 2018 survey by
Blue Star Families—but help may be available.
Many financial benefits exist for America’s heroes, though they’re
not widely known. For example, only one in 10 veterans uses
the VA home loan benefit earned with their service.
“Being stuck in a pit of debt adds a lot of strain and impacts everything
you want to pursue in life,” says Tatiana Zappardino,
a former U.S. Marine Corps first lieutenant. “As I pay down my debt and
build my credit score back up, my stress level has dropped tremendously.”
Here are some ways those who’ve served their country can increase
their credit scores and get the financial security they deserve:
1. Be a homeowner: If your rent
is $1,500 or more a month, a VA home loan can help you buy a home for about
the same amount. This valuable VA benefit is designed to provide veterans
with more favorable terms and lets you buy a home with no down payment—your
service is your down payment. VA lenders can often help veterans achieve the
dream of home ownership when traditional lenders can’t. For example, NewDay USA’s Operation Home looks beyond your
credit score and considers your whole financial picture.
2. Manage your credit score:
The higher your score, the lower the interest rates you’ll be charged
to borrow money. Use a free service such as Credit Karma to see your credit
report and score online. Review each item in the report and dispute anything
that’s not correct. Derogatory marks for collections, judgments and
late payments bring your score down. Also, work on paying down outstanding
balances. Pay off the ones with the highest interest rates first, then
prioritize by the age of the account and pay off the newest ones first. Older
accounts are better for your credit score. Try hard to pay every bill on time—even
one late payment can hurt your score.
3. Consolidate debt: Taking out
a new loan to pay off multiple debts lets you refinance the majority, if not
all, of that debt to a lower interest rate with a single monthly payment. If
you own a home, you can use your VA home loan benefit to refinance up to 100
percent of the appraised value of your house, consolidate credit card debt
and have some cash left to put in the bank. For example, the average customer
lowers payments by more than $600 a month or $7,200 a year.
4. Get help: If you’re
struggling to pay your bills and stay in your home, help is available. USA
Cares, The American Legion, Operation First Response and the Coalition to
Salute America’s Heroes provide a range of financial assistance for
““As I pay down my debt and build my credit
score back up, my stress level has dropped tremendously,” says Tatiana Zappardino, a former U.S. Marine Corps first lieutenant. NewDay USA’s Operation Home and NewDay
100 VA Loans
can help. http://bit.ly/2JnfPgQ”
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.