Transitioning back to civilian life after military service is a difficult task. Fortunately, a variety of programs are available to help military personnel with everything, from mortgages to disability benefits. They also help with some military credit repair services. You are serving your own country and it should never sacrifice a good credit score.
Establishing good credit is important to be taken care of, specifically for users who are going to buy homes, pay down debt, etc.
Some branches of the military will conduct a credit check on anyone who wishes to enlist as part of a standard background check. While others will only conduct credit checks on those who require a security clearance in their positions or ranks.
This may come as a surprise for some but there is a relationship between credit checks and getting into the military. For example, a person who has poor credit history wants to apply in the military. The poor credit history may be interpreted as a lack of responsibility and trustworthiness.
Before beginning the enlistment process, it is a good idea to review your credit history. See if there are any steps you can take to improve your credit score. It’s possible that your credit score is low due to errors in the credit reporting system rather than your own fault.
It is better to look at your credit history for any errors. In case you find any, file a dispute and clear them as soon as possible.
Military Credit Repair Service: Tips and Tricks
You should fix your credit by contacting the credit repair service or by doing it yourself. SCRA protection will help you to avoid damaging your credit.
Know Your Credit Report
You can get your credit report by contacting the Federal Trade Commission.
Give a look at your credit report properly. If you are not aware of your credit report, then you will not be able to work on military credit reports properly. And you will not be able to apply for a new credit card too.
Use Your Credit Wisely
According to the Department of Defense, the Government Travel Charge Card Program (GTCC) has been introduced. The service members should use the travel card to pay for all their travel expenses.
Since the usage of this card is a must, servicemembers have the opportunity to pay on time and begin establishing some good credit habits.
The GTCC program assists cardholders in developing better credit habits, but it is limited to a specific credit account. You must apply the good credit habits required for participation in the GTCC program to all of your accounts.
Repair Your Credit Fast
For military servicemen, the fastest way to repair your credit is by concentrating on your payment history and your available credit.
Now coming to the payment history section, make sure all of your payments are made on the due date or not past 30 days of the due date. Then, concentrating on your available credit, pay your outstanding credit balances to 30% of the available credit.
By looking into these two categories first, you can quickly improve your credit score.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act was enacted in 2003. It is designed mainly to handle the financial issues of the military service members during their active duty period. It was known as the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940.
The act takes care of issues like rental agreements, security deposits, mortgage interest rates, credit card interest rates, and many more.
By using this SCRA, you can protect your credit scores and won’t be charged for using this act.
The SCRA is applicable for the following service members:
- Active duty members like Military service members, Navy, Marine, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
- Active duty members who work in National Guard and Reserve-Component, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Public Health Service.
SCRA is not only for the military servicemembers but also for their dependents.
The Military And Family Support Center System
There are many organizations that provide guides to active military service members in need of help. These include basic necessities like securing houses, preparing for a job and getting trained over that, and many more.
Army Emergency Relief
The Army Emergency Relief (AER) is designed to help military service members and their family members with their financial issues.
AER gives funds to help the service members with immediate financial needs like house rent, any emergency travel, etc. They also provide emergency funding to orphans and surviving spouses of military service members. And provide scholarships to student spouses and children of active-duty military service members.
Child Care and Development Fund
The Child Care and Development Fund is also known as the Child Care and Development Block Grant. It provides funds to low-income families who need to take care of the child due to work, work-related training or to receive any protective services.
If you need help from this Child care and development fund, then you must be a parent or a responsible caretaker of children under the age of 13 years. And your financial status should be as low as possible, which means you should have a very low income.
Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund
The Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund is mainly for the disabled military service members and their families. In this program, they help with educational services, any kind of health issues, children enrichment services, and financial issues too.
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance
People who are included with the United States Coast Guard have the right to support themselves and their family members. Some of them include:
- Active Duty Employees
- Auxiliary Employees
- Civilian Employees
- Reserve Employees
- Retired Employees
This program provides a number of zero-interest loans and grants like any unexpected financial requirements, child’s education, any natural disasters, and funds for your family.
Fallen Patriot Fund
The Fallen Patriots Fund is designed to support soldiers and first responder families who were killed or seriously injured on the job.
Financial resources are essential to improve the sustainability of family units that have suffered losses because their loved ones have sacrificed themselves for the benefit of the country.
The Military Checklist for Protecting Credit
This checklist will help you to protect your credit when you are out of town. Follow these steps to make sure that you do not return home tensed to know about your credit scores.
You can also contact the companies that do credit repair services for improving your credits.
Put Active Duty Military Alert
Choose the Active Duty Military Alert on all your credit accounts by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus. These are:
By doing this will flag your credit report and the creditor will need to take additional steps to verify that the account opened in your name is actually you.
You are protecting your account by placing the active military alert. And this choice would be considered a priority when you are out of town.
Review your Credit Report
Have a look at your credit report before leaving for your service. You could rectify some of the issues when viewing your credit report. This gives your credit a possible shape before you start from your home.
You can also clear all your negative information or any errors that are wrongly addressed on your credit report.
Power of Attorney
You can also choose the power of attorney option to look after your credit when you are away. So that you will not worry about your financial issues when you are away. This shows a huge impact on your credit score.
The credit freeze option is mainly for military service people. The three major credit bureaus introduced this option. You can lift, or remove a credit freeze option on your credit reports.
This credit freeze will prevent your credit information from being shared with someone without your knowledge. It would require your permission to give your information.
Laws that Protect Military Members from Debt
There are several laws that protect military members and their families from debt.
Some of them are
Joint Travel Regulations
The Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) are for the Uniformed Service members, that is for the military service people.
The JTR contains relocation allowances, emergency expenses, travel and transportation allowances, and certain other allowances. In case of any debt regarding travel, the service people can use this funding program under the Joint Travel Regulations.
Military Lending Act
The Military Lending Act (MLA) is for the active-duty military servicemen, spouses, and certain dependents. According to this act, the interest rates are limited for many types of consumer loans to not more than 36%. This act also provides many other important protections and the lenders should not force the buyer to sign in some mandatory settlements.
The active members also include the members of the active National Guard or the active Reserve Duty.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
Since we have previously discussed this Act, let us have a small look over SCRA.
SCRA protections and benefits are for the military service members to serve on active duty without worrying about the potential harm associated with being unable to stay home while on duty.
This law allows military service members to use their SCRA right to withhold payments without appearing on their credit reports.
You should always remember that there are always services to help military service people and their families. You serve our country and you deserve to be served by us.
In case of any financial struggle or issues feel free to contact the military credit repair services. If your credit has been damaged by a previous deployment or due to any other issues.
They will help you to make your credit report accurate and error-free.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does the military forgive student loans?
According to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, you can discharge your debt after it is consolidated to a lower payment. Private student loans are excluded from this consolidation.
- What credit report does the military use?
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the three major credit bureaus should offer free credit monitoring services to active-duty military members and members of the National Guard.