Life in the military presents a unique set of challenges, many of them financial. Fortunately, there are a number of organizations dedicated to helping you navigate life — and finances —in the military. Here are some resources to consider:
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
This government agency provides resources, some specifically for the military, including financial education and webinars. It has services to help when buying a home or dealing with credit, among other things.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
This act was written to help protect you from predatory practices. For instance, it caps interest rates on loans taken out before your service. An Armed Forces Legal Assistance Attorney can help you enforce the protections.
The Military Lending Act
This protects service members from certain loans with interest rates that exceed a certain amount. If you believe a lender has violated the terms of the MLA, contact your local JAG officer for help or advice.
The agency's programs provide free financial counseling to active duty service members, reservists, National Guardsman and military families. The group is backed by the Department of Defense, and counselors are familiar with issues affecting service members.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
FINRA runs the Military Financial Readiness Project, which provides free educational tools with a focus on saving and investing. Like Military OneSource, FINRA partners with the DOD, so you may see program reps at events on base.
Other service members
Don’t forget about your peers. “Find someone in your unit who can be a good mentor,” says Kevin Breuer, a U.S. Army veteran and U.S. Bank Assistant Vice President. “If it’s your first deployment, there’s somebody else that’s been through a deployment.”
U.S. Bank offers a number of military-specific resources, from financial education to products, as well as career opportunities and community outreach. Learn more about the commitment to the military at U.S. Bank.
Want to learn more about the ins and outs of managing your money while serving in the military? Read about one veteran’s first-hand experience.