One would think that after a person has dutifully served their country, they wouldn’t have major problems paying bills. Alas, that’s just not the case. In fact, many military veterans are beset by financial woes.
Skeptical? Let’s review some data. A recent military readiness survey showed that 35 percent of service members are unable to meet their obligations in a timely fashion. Further, some 54 percent are merely getting by, and 86 percent have specific financial issues about which they’re fretting. Moreover, just 33 percent of vets report being “very confident” they can repay their loans.
So, veterans, like a lot of us, do need help, too. Thankfully, resources abound for this population as well as some active-duty military personnel. Here’s where to find debt help for veterans.
Veterans Administration Homeowner Debt Consolidation
A Military Debt Consolidation Loan is often available to veterans who bought a home with their VA benefits. The loan, which is based on the equity the borrower has in their house, can be used to erase credit card and other debt. Because it’s guaranteed by the federal agency, interest rates are relatively low. However, it’s important to note that because the lender’s house serves as collateral, the property can be lost to foreclosure if timely payments aren’t made.
Other loan benefits typically include longer repayment terms and easier eligibility, regarding credit scores and debt-to-income ratios.
Veterans Administration Home Loan Modifications
VA home loan lenders will sometimes restructure loan terms to keep borrowers out of foreclosure. When this occurs, late payments can be rolled into nascent loan balances, and the borrower can get a new payment schedule.
There are times when the veteran’s house must be sold at a loss to skirt foreclosure. In those cases, the Veteran’s Administration will fork over the difference to lender, thereby helping to offset the loss. Another benefit is credit score preservation, which allows the vet to purchase another residence more easily.
With this solution, an accredited counselor can help individuals, including veterans, better manage their finances. After evaluating their client’s situation, they can help with budgeting and other financial literacy issues. Such services are often free or carry a nominal fee.
Debt Relief Programs
When it comes to debt relief for veterans, do note that Uncle Sam offers no official debt relief debt relief efforts per se, whether for credit cards or other kinds of consumer debt unrelated to the agency.
However, there are organizations that work to help active and former servicemembers pay their debts, including Military OneSource, the Navy/Marine Corp Relief Society, Army Emergency Relief, and the American Legion.
Debt settlement companies such as Freedom Debt Relief can help those with acute debt issues, and there also are grants for veterans to pay off debt.
Veterans Administration Benefit-Related Debt Help
For debts that are associated with VA benefits, repayment plans can be put in place to render payments easier to handle. Help can be in the form of waivers, temporary hardship suspensions, and compromise offers.
Veterans can go through the VA Debt Management Center to gain new repayment plans or have existing repayment plans adjusted. The result often includes reduced monthly payments.
In the end, knowing where to find military debt help for veterans is crucial. While no individual who serves in the military for the United States should have debt concerns, the reality is that they do. However, there are plans and programs that can ease them. And again, if the debt woes are more severe, we recommend seeking out Freedom Debt Relief.
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