Tight economic times bring special financial challenges to Americans who serve in the military.
Accordingly, since 2004 military members and their families have benefited from the Better Business Bureau’s Military Line. As we celebrate Armed Forces Day on Saturday, it’s a good time to consider the help that this service offers, especially in the fields of financial literacy and consumer protection.
By visiting bbb.org and then clicking on the Military Line button, military members and their families can access a variety of helpful information. The Free Resources page offers a list of publications, website links and links to free apps. Topics include emergency financial resources, housing issue assistance, personal financial advice, identity theft and online fraud defense, and transitioning from military to civilian life.
Downward debt spirals are all too common among military members and their families.
As minor debts steadily increase until they seem to threaten the very survival of one’s family, service personnel can find themselves tempted to turn to payday loan outlets. Excessive interest charged on such loans makes them a poor choice for helping debt management. Similarly, continuing to accept offers for pre-approved credit cards can only multiply debt problems.
Resources on the Military Line website can provide direction to better ways of debt management. Targeting specific debts and prioritizing them can open a way of getting out of the debt trap. A slow and steady program for retiring your debts almost always beats “quick fix” attempts.
Plans for setting out on such paths to personal financial management are easily accessible at the Military Line website.
If only it were the case that all Americans appreciated the sacrifice and hardships that military families must deal with. Unfortunately, there are lots of opportunists out there lurking to victimize service families instead of helping them.
Watch for these frequent scams that target the military:
Sign up for the BBB’s e-newsletter called “Trusted Scout” and you can receive monthly updates about the latest scam attempts to avoid. This is available for free at the Military Line website.