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Financial Nightmares

A comment on another post got me thinking about the financial situations we sometimes find ourselves in due to pay problems.

Many MilSpouses have a Finance story to tell. DH and I were fortunate to have savings BEFORE he joined, otherwise we'd have had some nightmares, too.  We've also witnessed the money disappearing and reappearing.  In the instance that comes to mind, the military started removing the TDY Family Separation Allowance they had already paid to DH because no one told him he had to fill out the paperwork a second time at his PCS.  We had to deal with Finance at Ft. Sill a year after arriving at Ft. Hood.  Unfortunately the military doesn't pay you interest while they are holding your money.

You shouldn't be in this situation.  It is probably not your fault.  Since you are stuck, though, a couple of thoughts for those who find themselves strapped due to Finance moving slowly...

  • In the Army, try Army Emergency Relief.  There are restrictions as to for what these may be used, but if you use this for food and rent, then you will have money for other bills.
  • Also, the Pentagon Federal Credit Union is testing offering low-cost loans to discourage troops from using payday loan services.  They may be testing this at your post. They also have advice about getting out of debt.
  • Make sure you've written to companies and asked them to reduce the interest rate to 6% on debt.  According to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, this only applies to debt incurred prior to military service, but many major creditors will apply the interest rate to recently incurred debt if you just ask.

For those who find themselves in debt, whether it is due to paperwork problems not of their own making or prior decisions, most posts offer classes for soldiers and spouses on repairing credit and getting and staying out of debt.  In the Army, contact ACS.

In an ideal world, Finance would run perfectly and our budgets would never hit bumps...but since this is the world we live in, these are some places to turn.

Got a story?  Feel free to vent here! (ETA: In the interest of fairness, if you have a GOOD Finance story, please share that, too!)

Got links for other branches or suggestions to help military families? PLEASE add it in the comments!

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