Military service members who leverage credit cards to build strong credit find that good credit can help create a future that includes owning a home or starting a business.
Before they were famous, many truly influential men and women started by serving their country in the US military or grew up in military families.

Pay Down Credit Cards and Raise Your Credit

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Bad debt can be another weight on your strong but already burdened military shoulders. However, managing good debt and building good credit can be assets to your military finances - as long as you know leveraged debt from debilitating liability, and understand how to manage debt wisely.

Military service members who leverage credit cards to build strong credit find that good credit can help create a military future that includes owning a home, starting a business, or accessing luxuries for your military family (always remember that military discounts abound, on hotels, vacations, theme parks, and a variety of products and services, so your military pay can go a lot further and your family can always partake of the best in just about everything.)

However, with a busy military lifestyle distracting you, it can be easy to lose control of credit card debt and become overwhelmed by mounting payments and missed payment deadlines. If you are confronted by spiraling credit card debt, take these steps and place an immediate stop-loss on destructive credit card habits.

TRACK YOUR MONTHLY SPENDING

Making a budget is essential to creating a lifestyle you can enjoy and afford.

First, track your own spending habits by recording everything you buy for one month, from daily cups of coffee to mortgage or rent payments. At the end of the month, tally up the total to know exactly where your money is going. see where you can cut costs, find better prices through military discounts on products and services you use consistently, and make positive cash-flow changes that can take effect immediately.

COUNT DOWN YOUR APR

Take control of your credit card debt: research the APR number (interest) charged by each of your credit cards, and pay off the credit card with the highest APR first.

You may be able to transfer your high-APR credit card balance to a zero-percent interest rate credit card for a small transfer fee, and thus avoid paying higher interest rates over time. Your new zero-percent APR credit card rate will not last forever; be aware of the expiration date for the zero percent (introductory rates can last 6 months, 9 months or one year after opening the credit card ) and schedule equal monthly payments to pay down the transferred debt until it is paid off in full.

Your zero-percent credit card will revert to a more standard - or even higher - APR at the end of the introductory period.

Once you've paid off your highest APR card, leave the account open; your paid-in-full status and your unused credit will help boost your FICO score.

ASK A MILITARY FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Understanding is they key to solving any problem, especially a financial problem.
As a military service member you have options for financial education. Talk to a financial advisor at your local military base to learn more about managing your debt to your advantage, and building a strong credit score to advance your financial future.

Spending is a necessary element of military life, but debt shouldn't be a stress. Proper money management will help you prioritize your expenses and manage debt well, leaving you room to spend on things you enjoy while paying down existing debt and building strong credit that will serve you in building a strong military future.



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