Part of saving money successfully means not spending more than you have. But sometimes, you may need to consolidate higher interest loans, or need money for emergency travel, car repairs or some other unexpected, immediate or temporary expense. In these cases, you'll be happy to know that your military lifestyle makes you eligible for some of the better loan products available for the military.
Some banks and lenders understand the financial and family issues of your military lifestyle, and can answer your need for loan products at rates competitive with most banks and credit unions. As long as you are serving full-time in the United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps or Navy, any rank at all, you can rest assured that you can get the loans you need at fair interest rates and repayment terms.
You may even find that with the right lender, you can get your personal military loan faster, easier and at a lower interest rate than from some other lending sources.
WHY DON'T MILITARY SERVICEMEMBERS ALWAYS QUALIFY FOR TRADITIONAL LOAN PRODUCTS?
There are cases where being military may mean you aren't eligible for more traditional loans. When you apply for a loan, the lender analyzes your application and grants you a loan based on your credit history, level of duty, and financial needs. Traditional credit scores may not accurately reflect a military servicemember's true credit worthiness; the traditional loan model may not take into account the common aspects of a military lifestyle that could otherwise create a lower credit score such as frequent moves, deployments overseas, and financial situations unique to military servicemembers. These elements can create an inaccurately low credit score with the three major bureaus.
But by factoring in these military issues, along with numerous other critera, a military lender's credit scoring model can better judge a military servicemember's credit worthiness, and offer better-priced loans for military personnel.
WHAT TYPES OF MILITARY LOANS ARE AVAILABLE?
There are also personal loans available specifically for the military:
In addition to the Bereavement Loan, know that the VA wants to help in your time of need by quickly paying surviving spouses who are eligible to receive the deceased veteran's VA compensation or pension benefit, for the month of the veteran's death. This benefit is only payable to surviving spouses of veterans who were receiving VA compensation or pension benefits at the time of the veteran's death. Because VA does not always know if a veteran is survived by a spouse, some surviving spouses have not received the month-of-death benefit to which they are entitled. If you are a surviving spouse of a veteran who was receiving VA benefits at the time of death and believe you may be eligible for the month-of-death benefit, please go to www.va.gov and provide the information requested. VA has also established a special Survivors' Call Center for spouses who believe they may be entitled to this retroactive month-of-death benefit for a deceased veteran. You can also contact the Survivors' Call Center toll-free at 1-800-749-8387. VA will determine your eligibility. And, if you are a member of the United States Armed Forces in any branch of service - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard - on any armed forces base located anywhere in the world and you need cash in a hurry, online military loans are also available for you.
LOOK INTO MILITARY EMERGENCY RELIEF FUNDS
You don't ever have to resort to a payday lender; Military Relief Loans can help you to avoid the trap of payday loans.
Army Emergency Relief has a new program for soldiers. Under the Commanders' Referral Plan, a soldier can receive interest-free loans of up to $1,000 twice per year with a commander's referral.
In addition, all four military service branches have relief societies represented on base that offer interest-free loans and, occasionally, grants. Rather than paying a bill late - and possibly ruining your credit rating - consider getting an interest-free loan from your service branch's relief society. The Navy/Marine Corps society at Camp Pendleton gave out $3.8 million in emergency aid in 4,668 cases in 2007, and a similar amount in 2008.
Guard against predatory lenders that charge very high interest, solicit around military bases, and make it all too easy to get a loan. Although Congress passed a law that caps the interest rate on loans to military members at 36 percent, that rate is still significant and can land military members in financial straits quickly. Many military financial readiness programs offer free classes on base to teach you to recognize payday lender practices, and avoid payday loans.