Financial Assistance for Veterans
Military veterans face several challenges when returning from active duty. Adjusting to civilian life, transitioning back to American culture following a foreign deployment, and coping with any residual post-traumatic stress disorder are just a few of the common challenges that veterans face, among many others.
When financial challenges such as finding employment, loss of military benefits and dealing with debt management are thrown into the mix, things can only get more complicated. Fortunately, there are some programs and solutions available to veterans who need help with their personal finances and managing debt. Let’s take a closer look.
A common financial remedy for returning veterans is to pursue a personal loan that will consolidate high-interest credit card debt and cover any unexpected expenses. Personal loans are available from banks, credit unions and online lenders and are paid off in structured monthly installments over the life of the loan.
When military benefits such as inexpensive healthcare or a tax-free housing allowance fall by the wayside, a personal loan can help make up the slack. Apart from commercial lenders such as Avant, OneMain, LendingPoint, LightStream and SoFi, there are additional lenders that cater specifically to veterans. For starters, the Navy Federal Credit Union boasts over seven million members comprised of active-duty military, veterans, Department of Defense employees and related family of members.
Navy Federal offers personal loans of up to $50,000 with rates as low as 7.99% and durations as long as 15 years. Meantime USAA offers free membership to active military, veterans and related family of members. USAA offers personal loans of up to $50,000 with rates as low as 8.99% and durations ranging from two to seven years.
Financial Resources Available to Veterans
The Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act regulates interest rates on credit cards, auto loans and other financial products while also requiring landlords to let active-duty military out of any lease when deployment becomes necessary. The Military Lending Act also regulates interest rates on credit products for its members.
Meantime, the Veteran’s Housing Benefit Program offers low-interest rate mortgages to veterans. The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs annual guide to benefits for veterans, dependents and survivors includes information on housing grants, disability compensation and educational assistance programs.
Veterans can also receive a debt consolidation loan through the V.A. that can simplify the monthly debt repayment process of other high-interest rate debt. Finally, The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes aids veterans in covering expenses related to mortgage bills, auto loans, utility bills and medical bills. However, successful applicants must be veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation New Dawn.
Grants Available to Veterans
There are several financial grants that are available to military veterans and their families. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Unmet Needs Program provides grants of up to $1,500 to military families who are struggling financially with household expenses, utility bills, medical expenses and car repairs.
Rebuild Hope provides emergency financial assistance grants for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families of up to $2,000, along with financial counseling. The Modest Needs Homecoming Heroes Grant offers financial assistance for emergency expenses to eligible veterans who have recently returned from overseas deployment.
Finally, the American Legion, through its Temporary Financial Assistance Program, offers grants of $1,500 to children of active-duty military.
About The Author: Steven Brachman
Steven Brachman is the lead content provider for UnitedSettlement.com. A graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Economics, Steven spent several years as a registered representative in the securities industry before moving on to equity research and trading. He is also an experienced test-prep professional and admissions consultant to aspiring graduate business school students. In his spare time, Steven enjoys writing, reading, travel, music and fantasy sports.
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