The Financial Management Awareness Program is here to help you alleviate financial distress so you can be “Always Ready, Always There.”
Are you ‘fiscally fit’?
Getting depressed over an increased debt load is normal, experts say. Typically the situation is temporary and as the debt lightens, so does the depression. There are those, however, who don’t see a way out of their financial mess and become so despondent they contemplate or attempt suicide.
Today’s economy can be rough. Despite a seemingly low 3.7% unemployment rate:
- Currently 1.2 million Americans have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more
- Foreclosures were filed on 624,753 homes in 2018 and 230,000 homes were repossessed
- About 530,000 Americans file bankruptcy each year due to medical debt, high cost of living, divorce or separation, loss of income or other factors
- The average college student graduates with nearly $29,800 in debt
Fortunately, there is help available. Unfortunately, not all know where to turn.
How the Financial Reform Law impacts you
Public Law 111-203, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, has many provisions relevant to military members and their families.
- The law restricts prepayment penalties for mortgage loans.
- It authorizes individuals to receive their credit score free annually.
- It establishes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Office of Service Member Affairs.
- It mandates consumer financial literacy.
- It requires greater disclosure on credit card accounts and statements.
- It establishes a national consumer complaint hotline.
- It limits at $10 the maximum amount a business may set as a minimum purchase for credit card use.
- It permanently raises the FDIC limit of protection to $250,000.
- It allows for emergency homeowner loans up to $50,000 to prevent foreclosures.
- It establishes a student loan ombudsman.
The Office of Service Member Affairs is chartered to monitor dealer financing complaints. It will also educate and empower individuals to make informed decisions about dealer financial products and services.
Help is available
The National Guard community can take advantage of financial counseling and planning services offered by Military OneSource.
Free financial services: Think you may be financially out of shape? Meet your personal trainers. Learn about the planning and counseling resources available to service members and families to help them navigate through their financial lifecycle.