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Military deployment and credit


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130 replies to this topic

#51 ArmyWife4Life

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 05:52 PM

Never ASSUME anything! I learned that the hard way with the soldiers and sailors act!

My husband and I heard rumors from other army friends that if we got a high interest rate on our car or credit cards, not to worry because it would be lowered as soon as my husband deployed....WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!! Total misconception!

It turns out the soldiers and sailors has nothing to do with deployment! Our car financers AmeriCredit said that is for people who finance as civialians and then join the army. I was told they get the special interest for being in the military after the car is financed. I thought that didn't sound right but that is what they told me.
So here we are stuck with 18% interest for a $12,000 car loan on a used car.

My husband has bad credit because he spent from age 18-22 in Korea where he had no credit cards whatsoever. Then he gets back and finances a truck, well that truck gets totaled and the insurance company AAA doesn't pay his previous loan off for four months, telling us the whole time it was fine and paid. His credit report is still not fixed and he's in Iraq fighting for the war instead of fighting for them to clear his credit.

If you want a story, talk about how companies like ClearWire take advantage of soldiers by signing them up for two year contracts and verbally telling them there is no fee for cancelling due to deployment, then when the soldiers are on quick deployment, they go "DIDN'T YOU READ THE SMALL PRINT?" and they slap a $200 fee on them. Go to any US Army post and I guarentee it will be surrounded with pawn shops and EZ Loans. My husbands unit was forbidden to go there because of them wripping off soldiers. The biggest problem is their pay. They are risking their lives for the same amount I make as a cashier in a common retail store. How are they expected to replace uniforms and gear when they make next to nothing. They all end up pawning their stuff and paying 30% interest because there is no other option for them.

It is too easy for younger soldiers to get into debt. I wish there were no EZ Loans in the area because the soldiers would be forced to go to their boss for help and not dig further into debt.

I gotta stop or this will turn into whining.

These soldiers need help, not more discouragment and blame.



#52 pryan67

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 07:05 PM

Americredit lies ALMOST as much as a CA...

find out from the source what the TRUTH is.

read the actuall SSRA...you might be surprised

#53 nickelnm

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 03:59 PM

Americredit lies ALMOST as much as a CA...

find out from the source what the TRUTH is.

read the actuall SSRA...you might be surprised


Pryan67,

I am having the SAME issues as the person above, my husband was just deployed for 18 months and I tried to get several loans and such lowered to 6% interest I was success full with two and un-successfull with the rest. They told me the same thing; that the act was for people who were NOT in the military when they took out the obligation.

My husband re-enlisted while he was deployed; which means he was discharged and then re-accepted into the army so, technically he did join AFTER the obligation was taken out and they still tell me no.

I have read the SSCRA, but cannot find anything the specifically supports my assertion that the act should pertain to us.

I can say that Capital One will lower the interest rate for ANYONE in the military to 6% for LIFE and they will NOT charge you any fees and if you have had the card for while they will make it retro-active. I was told this by a CSR rep and have assisted several military people in getting it done; including my Cap 1 card that is only in my name and my husband is an AU!

nickelnm

#54 lupoman

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 07:21 PM

I am air force and work in the finance office...I hate to say this, but MOST horror stories are ultimately the troops fault...The menality whether they're told or just assume is that they'll have plenty of time to use a computer or phone to make payments to their lenders. Missed payments equal fees, those fees can even trigger over the limit fees, then they come back to realized they owe $700 in fees alone. They don't pay on spite and it goes to collection. Other pretty common one is a troop leaves his wife behind to pay the bills, she spends instead of pays.


And how is this the troops fault? It took 3 weeks for a letter to get from here to there and vice-versa. SOOO, you pay you bill by mail and just hope it gets there? (BTW, many of our military ARE single and have no one whom they can trust to pay thier bills.) The 'internet cafe' charges exhorbitant amounts per minute. And YES many soldiers trust their spouse to pay the bill in their absence and come home to ruined credit - a REVOKED security clearance and an absent spouse!

You are lucky to be in the AF. The Army can regularly FUBAR a soldier's pay....delays for up to 6 months their genuine entitlements (not interest 'cause we are the government) and then when things go south because of what the Army failed to do.....you lose your clearance, get jacked up on UCMJ or CH14 and are thrown out with a less than honorable.

And AF isn't perfect either. I kept telling those wonderful enlisted guys at finance that they were over paying me. For 6 months these 'educated' men kept telling me, "NO! (you stupid butter bar....) You are getting a correct amount!" Well, after 6 mo, I got a "paycheck" for $0.56....yep, someone had finally figured it out and you BET the gov't takes it all in one shot! (Of course, there are those butter bars that were smart enough to set aside the extra..... ;) :huh: )

Here is the intelligence of the Army:
- NO you don't get separation pay...you are under E-4! (not true)
- 6 months after they were married, my daughter AND her hubby (both Army) have YET to get the higher rate they are supposed to receive.
- After 6 months of their failure to pay the bonus, I reported Wheeler AAF finance to the US Pacific Command Commander. My son received his bonus 4 days later....and we were told that they way they were attempting to accomplish this.... my son would NEVER have gotten it! BTW, they simultaneously corrected (1) a SFC who hadn't gotten paid in 6 months (Uh, yeah....tell him it is his fault!) and (2) an SSG who had $800/mo "garnishment" no one could identify (and yes, he got all the back pay!)


The Defense Finance Account System (DFAS) is notorious for paying soldiers incorrectly. They will always catch up and we always advised soldiers and families that when they are overpaid, to put that money in a seperate account as it will be debited back eventually. The only problem with this is that you may have a PV1 who has a wife and 3 kids and can't make it month to month anyway and are already receiving public assistance (food stamps, WIC) and NEED the extra money to get by. It is so sad to see a soldier and his/her family receiving public assistance - - - to me there is something seriously wrong with this picture.



The Best way to avoid the Officer above with the $.56 paycheck, taking back over half your pay due to a DFAS Mix-up, or even if you get into trouble with an Article 15- and this advise was given to me by a older E-6 when i was a young PFC-

SET UP AN ALLOTMENT GOING TO YOUR CHECKING ACCOUNT FOR OVER HALF YOUR PAY, SET ALL OTHER BIG BILLS (Car, House, your constantly maxed credit card, etc) TO AN ALLOTMENT ALSO.

If you leave only $200 (for example, with the rest alloted to your bank) on your LES (pay stub) being direct deposited into your account, guess how much they can take back? Only a certain percentage of the $200. If you get into trouble with an Article 15, "Forfeit Half a months pay for 2 months" is only half of $200 for 2 months. They cannot touch your allotments. This rule was made mostly due to financial hardships caused by pay errors, they reason that allotments are bills, taking away from them only causes more problems.

I am now an E-7, and i still to this day have an allotment going to my savings account, only 1/4 of my paycheck is paid on my LES. Try it, you'll like it!

Edit: By the way, my sig below show when i stopped getting my scores, my FICO TU did finally hit 700, but i had a credit Relapse in the name of souping up my car when i got home so they lowered again to about the same as the last entry. My goal was an AMEX, i got it, so i stoped repairing.

Edited by lupoman, 19 February 2008 - 07:24 PM.


#55 lupoman

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 07:42 PM

Oh and by the way i am in Afghanistan, Deployed again!! I guess its time to start working on my scores again lol. Its not as bad as Iraq tho.

I have learned not to talk too much about the war tho, /wink Breeze. PM me if you wanna know something.

Pryan67 is the man, and helped me alot Listen to his advise, That explanation that Americredit gave you makes no sense at all, i would have called right back till i got a different operator. If that didnt work, ask for a supervisor. Then if that doesn't work, head to JAG, they have tons of info on the SSRA, or www.militaryonesource.com
Posted Image I know you have probably read alot about the SSRA, but militaryonesource will give you numbers to call for a free advocate, that will call in your behalf and scare the bejesus outta them to understand the law by saying they are from some gov agency representing you.

Good luck!

#56 nickelnm

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:51 PM

My husband and I do the same thing with allottments we have almost 100% of his pay going into a joint checking account that pays ALL of our monthly bills; then we have an allottment going straight into a HYS account every month. Whatever is left; that's my husband's play money.

Although right now he is getting no pay due. The lovely government gave him to many special pays for over 6 months and we couldn't get them to stop so, we put the extra money that we weren't due in a savings account and we now withdraw out of that savings account every payday for the amount of play money my hubby gets. Might as well earn some interest on that free money we couldn't get them to stop giving us. LOL

I will call military onesource; although last time I called them I didn't get very far. I am also going to go see JAG about the SSRA.

#57 lupoman

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 02:59 PM

If not jag, at least the legal assistance office. Usually in the same building, but you know the military, sometimes that makes too much sense and may put it on the other side of post lol

#58 lupoman

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 01:36 PM

In short, if a troop (and their spouse if they have one) practice money management skills at all times and set up a web bill pay prior to deploying, 99.9% of all problems will be avoided.

The ones who are saying that a member deploys and leaves no money behind for the spouse. That's a money management issue, aka the members fault. A troop makes more money being deployed vs. staying at the base. #1, every married member gets approx $280/mo BAS (food allowance). When not deployed, the troop will have to eat therefore uses money to pay for it. When you're deployed you get free food and still get paid that $280 BAS. You can also get tax free hostel fire pay, $225/mo. Lastly, when you return, you get tax free $250/mo for family separation. Lastly when deployed you get taxes taken out of your pay. ONce you arrive back at your base, you get a tax credit to equal "tax free".

We have a horrible pay system, DJMS. It's DOS based, everything is in arbitruary codes. DJMS piggybacks off of the personal computer system. Sometimes there's an error in the piggybacking. Eg, someone gets promoted, our DJMS isn't reading the new promotion. We're all going to have a new milpay system, therefore they won't spend another dime on improving DJMS. One last thing, we PAY GROSS and take back NET. That's a really bad thing IMO.


Have you ever LOOKED at an LES??? Yes they give us $250 BAS BUT they take out $230 WHETHER OR NOT my husband is deployed. That leaves only an extra $20 a month for food, not much (and payments for dental eat that up anyways). We dont see a dime of the BAH and we spend WAY more on uniforms a year then we get in stipend from them (roughly double of what they give). And they only give you seperation pay IF you have been seperated for more than 60 consecutive days. You get that but it takes them forever to get it to you, so it is not something you can count on as you never know when it will start or end. They will usually bring them back in on the 59th day to avoid paying it or send them out and bring them back in all the time. I have only spent 65 days with my husband this year and not consecutively, the rest he has been gone. We have not seen a penny of seperation pay this year. You do NOT get a tax credit after you come back from deployment (unless Iraq deploys have different rules) and navy doesn't get hostel fire pay no matter where they go. I have never seen any extra pay from the navy that they didnt give grudgingly. It took them nearly a year to give us BAH after we were married and they never back payed us either. When my husband made second class, it took them 6 months to pay him the extra 200 a month and he was never back payed to the day he got promoted either. there are too many rules and red tape for them to do anything.

99.9% of all problems are not avoided by simple money management. You need to have a POA for a lot and most companies will not accept a general. Companies such as KAY's Jewelers require a specific POA for me to even talk to them about my husband's account. I had to find that out the hard way. It is sooo frustrating when you are the one dealing with it and you can not get anything done. And Navy federal, as wonderful as they are, have to see the POA everytime I try to do something in his name even though I am joint on the account. They will not make a copy of it and keep it on file. I have to go into a branch and literally show them the copy for them to discuss certain things. We keep seperate credit accounts and I can not talk to the companies without faxing them the POA, talking to legal, and figuring out what companies require a specific POA. It is a PITA.

The only time we have had money issues on deployment has been when I pay the bills and my husband would look at our account and pull out whatever he wanted without knowing what bills I paid. So we had overdraft fees and all kinds of issues because HE spent the money while I was paying the bills. I am sure he told them it was all MY fault. That ended quickly because I put him on an allowance only giveing him so much allottment every month out of his paycheck. After he spent his money he had to call me and ask if there was enough in the account. This worked out better and never once have I had to turn him down for money. It really is more about the communication than the spending of the money. Once we worked out our goals and issues we began to grow more responsible financially.

Web Bill pay is the best thing in the world! We have not missed a payment since we started using it. The Legal services office is really helpful when doing the credit repair stuff and NMCRS was so helpful with the layette profram and budgeting/financial help. Sometimes the FFSC is helpful also.



Please make sure that you post accurate information, I know how frustrating military life can be; but spreading incorrect information is not the solution to the problem...

BAS-Basic Allowance for Subsistence - This allotment is for the service member only and is not intended to cover spouses and/or family members’ room and board costs.

BAH - Basic Allowance for Housing - It is payable when government quarters are not provided or when temporarily residing in barracks (i.e. basic training, job school, unaccompanied overseas assignment).
In other words if you are living in housing the Department of Defense is your landlord and they keep their rent money!

FSA - Family Separation Allowance - is paid at the rate of $250.00 per month or prorated at $8.33 per day. FSA is payable to Service Members with dependents assigned away from their permanent duty station continuously for more than 30 days in a TDY or TCS status, when all of the member’s dependents are not residing at or near the temporary station.

You should ask your husband about the retroactive pay (BAH and Promotion), because DFAS can not just keep your money...sooner or later the system always catches up with you (for good or bad)

Let me conclude by saying that we all (Air Force, Army, Marines, NAVY) fell under the Department of Defense and the pay variations (if any) in most cases are job related ( Special Pay, Incentives, etc). not Branch related.


well said!

#59 lupoman

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 09:27 AM

I meant the last part in the post above was well said, explaining the LES. Just want to add that the Army is different, taxes are refunded the next month. So if they take out Fed and state taxes one month, they will refund it to you the next month. Thats the way it is working this time while i am in afghanistan, the last time when in Iraq, i was refunded the taxes about 3-5 days later. I guess uncle sam gets a 30 day loan from me now. But hey its tax free, so no biggie.

#60 nickelnm

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 06:06 PM

I meant the last part in the post above was well said, explaining the LES. Just want to add that the Army is different, taxes are refunded the next month. So if they take out Fed and state taxes one month, they will refund it to you the next month. Thats the way it is working this time while i am in afghanistan, the last time when in Iraq, i was refunded the taxes about 3-5 days later. I guess uncle sam gets a 30 day loan from me now. But hey its tax free, so no biggie.


They shouldn't take out the taxes as all. Hubby just got back from a 15 month deployment 'over there' and after the first 30 days they didn't take out the taxes at all. He still had to pay FICA and Social security.

Also, when I said I was going to go to JAG; I actually meant the legal assitance office. Same thing. LOL

#61 midisurf

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 05:58 PM

I think I can do a little to contribute to this thread.

I'm an E5 with student loans that are in repayment by the ASLRP.

I've had dealings with the SCRA and an almost foreclosed house.

Basically my home was in foreclosure when I joined in 2003. A few letters from legal assistance at Ft. Gordon and the mortgage company, Wells Fargo/Americas servicing company, went limp and agreed to a deed in lieu. Stricken from my credit report and now reporting as a positive paid mortgage TL.

First, the attorney asked for a stay in collection and payment activities per the SCRA.
Then, he calls and shows some government attorney muscle and sends a letter to the mortgage company stating a few facts. I had a preexisting debt with the company, I am now active duty, please provide a deed in lieu so that I may continue my service.
Finally, mortgage company is spooked by government letterhead and sends a quit claim deed releasing my contractual obligations. Boo ya. Not saying it's gonna work for everyone but if you are in the unique situation of a defaulted home loan prior to joingin the military, JAG may be able to help you A LOT.

The student loans are a different story. Per the SCRA, the Heroes act of 2003, and acts set forth as a result of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, soldiers have quite a few options depending on what type of loan you have and what your payment and school status is at the time before entering active duty.

Here are some vital links to follow if anyone has issues with your student loan rights.

FCBA on the JAG website

FCBA- https://www.jagcnet....F8?opendocument

Of course

SCRA- https://www.jagcnet....1F?opendocument

After 9/11 your student loans can be deferred if you are called to active duty.
http://www.amsa.com/...ail.cfm?aid=390 http://ifap.ed.gov/d.....ent Loans.pdf

Check and pull your reported deferment, repayment, forbearance status. (this site saved my butt)

http://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/

Extensive information on deployment and legal rights in general

https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/legal

Hope this helps someone

Edited by midisurf, 28 March 2008 - 06:13 PM.


#62 collins135

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 03:35 PM

Also note in the above reply, the student loan laws will be changing in 2009. AD members will be able to defer the SL's without a time limit. (limits are 1 -3 years right now)

I am not under the impression that it is for families, but only AD members.

Just a heads up.

#63 armywife254tx

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 01:03 PM

Hello im new to this site but I JUST HAD TO reply to this posting...financial hardships? problems? we got plenty... maybe someone can help...(tryna make a long story short 4 ya) My husband and I were up to our eyeballs in debt, mainly because of not getting paid for equipment he lost on his first 15 month deployment 2 iraq...we got loans for groceries and loans for car payments and more loans and more loans... I kno not the smartest of ideas...

his NCO's insisted we didnt need 2 cars eventho we informed them i wanted 2 go back 2 work, so they made my husband do a voluntary repossesion... and on top of that he was barred from promotions and even reenlistment UNLESS we agreed to use his bonus (which we got a month after the repossesion) to pay off our debt the way his NCO's saw fit...my idea pay off 4 or 5 of the eight creditors and make payment or allottments for the remaining creditors... their idea pay half off to all eight...which still left us with 8 creditors which can not even be set up on allottment or payments. they lifted his flag long enough to send him back to iraq for 15 months(but not enough to promote him) but okay...

so i thought, im resillient im goin to make this work it may take time but... Anyway i set up amicable payment arrangements(kind of good faith payments) with the creditors...all but one who refused...this creditor sent a letter 2 his commander and somehow the letter got to my husbands NCO's in iraq who then told him to sign this "allottment" which ended up being a legally binding garnishment of wages...so now until like july they are getting $997 a month from us...he couldnt call them or write them because of access or time constraints and now its 2 late...so now we cant afford to pay the other creditors...the end
our credit sucks...

#64 GoArsenal

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 05:42 AM

Hello im new to this site but I JUST HAD TO reply to this posting...financial hardships? problems? we got plenty... maybe someone can help...(tryna make a long story short 4 ya) My husband and I were up to our eyeballs in debt, mainly because of not getting paid for equipment he lost on his first 15 month deployment 2 iraq...we got loans for groceries and loans for car payments and more loans and more loans... I kno not the smartest of ideas...

his NCO's insisted we didnt need 2 cars eventho we informed them i wanted 2 go back 2 work, so they made my husband do a voluntary repossesion... and on top of that he was barred from promotions and even reenlistment UNLESS we agreed to use his bonus (which we got a month after the repossesion) to pay off our debt the way his NCO's saw fit...my idea pay off 4 or 5 of the eight creditors and make payment or allottments for the remaining creditors... their idea pay half off to all eight...which still left us with 8 creditors which can not even be set up on allottment or payments. they lifted his flag long enough to send him back to iraq for 15 months(but not enough to promote him) but okay...

so i thought, im resillient im goin to make this work it may take time but... Anyway i set up amicable payment arrangements(kind of good faith payments) with the creditors...all but one who refused...this creditor sent a letter 2 his commander and somehow the letter got to my husbands NCO's in iraq who then told him to sign this "allottment" which ended up being a legally binding garnishment of wages...so now until like july they are getting $997 a month from us...he couldnt call them or write them because of access or time constraints and now its 2 late...so now we cant afford to pay the other creditors...the end
our credit sucks...


Just got around to reading this now and noticed no replies. If you're still around, was their a legal judgment against your husband? If not, I'd certainly sue that CA for giving details to another person. As for the Army or which ever branch, I'd seriously talk to JAG (or the law department in his branch of service) about whether or not his higher-ups can force him to fork over his reenlistment bonus to the creditors or be denied his reenlistment.

Well, won't go too much into it as I'm not sure you're still around.

Edited by GoArsenal, 11 May 2008 - 05:43 AM.


#65 armywife254tx

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 03:34 PM

Yes I am still around...lol... I did find out that there is an army regulation that states they couldnt do that...but the 1SGT who had him do it has retired since returning from iraq...i sat down with my husbands new 1sgt and he apologize after i showed him the AR (which he apparently knew about) but thats about it we are still in the same situation...except we are trying to go to a new unit since they are not allowing my husband access to the promottion board based on old debt...but he is stop ;oss stop move so i doubt it will happen...but thank u for your reply... oh yea and yes there was a judgement against him which was issued while he was in iraq and couldnt attend court...

#66 joulian

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 09:30 AM

i can see a little of what someone might be thinking wife or troop...

if they don't come back whats it going to matter...

Thats a little harsh but i wonder if its not in the back of some of their heads.

I believe the government should be drafting this from their pay , let me elabrate, if the gov had a bill
pay system for the troops it would be nice while they are deployed ONLY if they are in the field or in a
certain level of threat or danger. I mean if someone is working in a mess hall in the part of Iraq getting
bomb heavily it could be they get the internet knocked out.

#67 jandah55

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 12:33 PM

My husband is National Guard , currently serving Active Duty in Iraq. Since we knew about his impending deployment one year in advance, we had plenty of time to make sure all our Power of Attorneys were complete gone over with a fine tooth comb, and I had plenty of copies. We made sure he called all his creditors and verified that I had the authority to discuss his accounts, and made the accounts joint , instead of just having me as an authorized user.

I made sure our banks had certified copies of our POA, and changed our debit cards so that they would have had different numbers on them. I opened a separate bank account for my husband, who would have a set amount each pay day to spend as he saw fit, and to use his Eagle card on.

Credit Reporting Agencies can put Military freeze on the reports ( I chose not to , but instead purchased a good credit monitoring service), and we made our Bank aware of my husband's deployment , and he took only one low limit credit card with him , for security.

I have heard stories from friends whose husbands are deployed, of Eagle cards causing huge headaches. Eagle cards simply take money out of a soliders checking account via a kiosk , and put it on a sort of pre-paid debit card is the preferred method (sometimes the ONLY payment method accepted) at many bases. The problem starts when soldiers fail to communicate about the withdrawel with wives, and the debit sometimes takes a bit of time to process out of the checking account. We solved that by putting aside a certain amount in my husband's special account so he never has to worry about using the Eagle if he needs it, if he did not use his "allowance" by the next paycheck, we move it over to our savings and start over.

We sent the deployement notification to our credit card companies, and all but 1 (HSBC) complied and lowered our rates. My state also gives military deployment discounts on automobile tags, with copies of orders.

Our insurance company, and our cell phone company , offer very nice discounts for military as well, and certain plans to put his cell phone and car insurance on a "hold" status so we pay a bare minimum until he gets back (since I have put his car in storage and he could not take his cell phone).

My husband has had to take a pay cut while deployed, but with the fact that he does not have federal or state (our state does not tax combat pay, some do though) I have managed to not only get by, but to all but eliminate our debt and put some in savings.

One fellow Guard wife who did similar planning and work to prepare for deployment, has been able to bank her husband's entire paycheck and live on her check alone.

The one thing about us though, neither of us have children, so IMO this would be alot harder to deal with if we had kids. For wives of deployed soldiers who have several children and cannot work...those are the women I truly admire. ( I do not work due to health issues, but at least do not have kids to feed).

All in all, I think preparation, discipline, and making use of all available resources (and there are alot anymore, thank goodness, my mother did not have any of this when she was trying to raise four of us kids while my dad did two tours in Vietnam) Your credit can survive deployments.


There are alot of resources out there , a couple of websites have lists of many:
http://www.militaryonesource.com/
http://www.military.com/

And for us, being Army , http://www.armyfrg.org/

Also in our state, the Family Readiness Group calls each registered spouse every single month to see if any assistance is needed in any aspect of the deployment. This aspect is purely a volunteer effort that offers resources and support to deployed National Guard soldier's families.

Honestly the deployment that really messed us up financially was when my husband had to leave his civilian job suddenly and go to New Orleans for 3 months after Katrina. His civilian job stopped paying him almost immediately , but his deployment pay took two months to start. Had it not been for a really wonderful bank who literally saved us, we would have been in deep , deep trouble. Now , we keep a certain amount in savings for unexpected "National Emergency" deployments.

I think where change needs to come , is in private sector employers and their support of National Guard and Reserve employees that go beyond what is Federally required from them.

#68 Melkat

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 01:15 AM

My husband is currently deployed, this is his 2nd tour and it has cause a great financial problem. its been 3 months since he has been away and his pay still screw up, there is pay from March that he has not gotten pay and he still has not gotten pay for any of his entitlements. All I keep getting is we are working on it, well we are working on it does not pay my bills or buys food for my kids. This has cause a hardship and has cause our credit to take a downfall.

#69 lupoman

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 11:55 AM

My husband is National Guard , currently serving Active Duty in Iraq. Since we knew about his impending deployment one year in advance, we had plenty of time to make sure all our Power of Attorneys were complete gone over with a fine tooth comb, and I had plenty of copies. We made sure he called all his creditors and verified that I had the authority to discuss his accounts, and made the accounts joint , instead of just having me as an authorized user.

I made sure our banks had certified copies of our POA, and changed our debit cards so that they would have had different numbers on them. I opened a separate bank account for my husband, who would have a set amount each pay day to spend as he saw fit, and to use his Eagle card on.

Credit Reporting Agencies can put Military freeze on the reports ( I chose not to , but instead purchased a good credit monitoring service), and we made our Bank aware of my husband's deployment , and he took only one low limit credit card with him , for security.

I have heard stories from friends whose husbands are deployed, of Eagle cards causing huge headaches. Eagle cards simply take money out of a soliders checking account via a kiosk , and put it on a sort of pre-paid debit card is the preferred method (sometimes the ONLY payment method accepted) at many bases. The problem starts when soldiers fail to communicate about the withdrawel with wives, and the debit sometimes takes a bit of time to process out of the checking account. We solved that by putting aside a certain amount in my husband's special account so he never has to worry about using the Eagle if he needs it, if he did not use his "allowance" by the next paycheck, we move it over to our savings and start over.

We sent the deployement notification to our credit card companies, and all but 1 (HSBC) complied and lowered our rates. My state also gives military deployment discounts on automobile tags, with copies of orders.

Our insurance company, and our cell phone company , offer very nice discounts for military as well, and certain plans to put his cell phone and car insurance on a "hold" status so we pay a bare minimum until he gets back (since I have put his car in storage and he could not take his cell phone).

My husband has had to take a pay cut while deployed, but with the fact that he does not have federal or state (our state does not tax combat pay, some do though) I have managed to not only get by, but to all but eliminate our debt and put some in savings.

One fellow Guard wife who did similar planning and work to prepare for deployment, has been able to bank her husband's entire paycheck and live on her check alone.

The one thing about us though, neither of us have children, so IMO this would be alot harder to deal with if we had kids. For wives of deployed soldiers who have several children and cannot work...those are the women I truly admire. ( I do not work due to health issues, but at least do not have kids to feed).

All in all, I think preparation, discipline, and making use of all available resources (and there are alot anymore, thank goodness, my mother did not have any of this when she was trying to raise four of us kids while my dad did two tours in Vietnam) Your credit can survive deployments.


There are alot of resources out there , a couple of websites have lists of many:
http://www.militaryonesource.com/
http://www.military.com/

And for us, being Army , http://www.armyfrg.org/

Also in our state, the Family Readiness Group calls each registered spouse every single month to see if any assistance is needed in any aspect of the deployment. This aspect is purely a volunteer effort that offers resources and support to deployed National Guard soldier's families.

Honestly the deployment that really messed us up financially was when my husband had to leave his civilian job suddenly and go to New Orleans for 3 months after Katrina. His civilian job stopped paying him almost immediately , but his deployment pay took two months to start. Had it not been for a really wonderful bank who literally saved us, we would have been in deep , deep trouble. Now , we keep a certain amount in savings for unexpected "National Emergency" deployments.

I think where change needs to come , is in private sector employers and their support of National Guard and Reserve employees that go beyond what is Federally required from them.


Man i really coulnt have said it better. No honestly i couldnt have being single for so long lol. I am divorced lol, but you really set out a great road map for ANY military spouse! Thanks a bunch from a guardsman in Afghanistan.

#70 DragonFlyer

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 07:43 PM

I have all kinds of war stories to submit, but to summarize I dealt with two horrific situations that will make your head spin:

A landlord who didn't want to adhere to the 60-day notice when he sold the house I was in (I was with the kids while DH was in Iraq). He was accepting half/half on the first and 15th - though the lease was for full on the first. I did the half/half payment for over a year. I was never late and paid as we verbally agreed. Come the 8th of the month, he filed for a 24-hour eviction citing I was behind on rent (knowing he would get the last half on the 15th as I had done for over a year!). I went to the Judge (who was having a party in a side room with food and fare) and with the SSRA info stating we would be on the street with nowhere to go and she STILL allowed the eviction to proceed. I lived in a homeless shelter for the next four months recovering from that episode.

When DH was wounded in Iraq and in the hospital, I went to his side to help in his recovery. I was out of work for 10 months and his pay was MAJORLY screwed. I was also expecting ITO payments for being there with the kids and it was NEVER paid by the Army! I got behind on car payments and it charged off. The bank would call and call, each time with me telling them when the Army paid I would be happy to pay. Their last message to me on voicemail said "We hope you know you are committing a felony for not turning over the car...if you get stopped by the police you will be arrested. When that happens, we hope your kids are in the car to see their mother go to jail!" I kept the car on post (where they could not find it) and a few months later paid the ENTIRE balance in full. Even though I was technically paying it off three years early, they show it as a charge off on my CR.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

#71 nickdash

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 10:09 PM

Neen hanging around this site for a couple of years now. First time I felt the need to chime in and say my peace.

Take it from someone who just spent 20 years in the Marine Corps. I have gone from Good Credit to Poor Credit to divorce to ok credit and vice versa many a times over to the point where i get paranoid when the thought of deployment would set in. 10 years ago before the internet and its capabilities by the time I paid my bills they were always 30 days late which would increase interest rates and a spiral from there. Its hard to plan when living pay check to pay check then getting 18-24 hours to pack up and leave.... not to mention using 10-20 of those hours in meetings and getting eveyone else in your platoon ready. Next I would get called up at a moments notice only to be thrown in the desert only to work out my bills at 3 AM. Companies who were very supportive in the beginning of the war are just a tired of "time" as everyone else is and work around the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act and figure creative ways to get thier money. I retired just as broke as when i joined many of years ago. Maybe it was poor planning on my part, or just life itself. Either way I couldnt get a loan to start my own business after achieving a Bachelors and serving our country for 20+ years yesterday...I was told even with my 680 fico that I dont make enough money to purchase my home now that I no longer have a job, right before he called "DUDE"....I was told this by a 24 year old in a business suite who was driving a car worth 5X more then mine. Im glad my sacrafices gave him the oppertunity to go to school and make the kind of money that he makes..I am not at all mad at him even though I wanted to reach over the table and choke him I just smiled and shook his hand. I made a choice to serve our country. I made a choice to apply for credit...i made a choice who i paid and when I paid...mistakes happen...life happen....We are in a world where once your in the hole that took seconds to dig.............takes years to pull yourself out.........but always remember this......theres always tomorrow.........wish you all here the best..........

#72 lupoman

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 12:19 AM

Well let me throw some good news in here. American Express just reversed over $3000 worth of finance charges and credited back my account the difference. Once they received a copy of my military orders they backdated all finance charges from 19% APR to 6%, and credited the account.

#73 nineteendelta

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 12:34 AM

I am not sure what you are looking for, but I am writing from a deployed theater in the Middle East. I have the internet, a lot of free time and a steadfast will to repair my credit on my own while I am here. That having been said, there are some major problems by doing this from here. To start, I can't use AnnualCreditReport.com for a free report! The website offers big black text on a white screen stating that I must be using an United States-based internet service provider. Same problem with the national "Opt Out" website. Same problem with attempting to get free reports on the individual credit bureau websites. So it has been a costly effort for me. Then there is the time issue. I just now am starting to do some disputes by mail. Doing that from here is a pain the butt because a certified mail, return receipt request process is muddled by 10-14 days of one-way mail delay. At any rate, I have ample free time and have been enormously successful repairing bad credit this year by simply paying off all debt, keeping credit cards open and putting small purchases on each of them every month and paying them off within the grace period, and mastering (as best I can) how the FICO is compounded and what factors effect this score negatively.

I would argue that many/most deployed troops do better financially when they are deployed. There are of course exceptions. My colleague here is an Attorney at home. He takes a major cut. I would have, but my employer is making my pay whole -- so in the end, I came out way ahead because my living costs are next to nothing.

As for creditors, I used deployment orders to lower interest rates on credit cards (6%), put the cell phone account on hold (to keep my number -- cancel was another option), cancel other things (health club, etc). Overall, I have a hard time sympathizing with deployed troops that fail to take charge of their financials BEFORE they deploy. Nevertheless, when they are in theater, they have computer labs/laptops/ample internet and really no excuse to ignore personal finances.

#74 Shane

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 07:29 PM

I am not sure what you are looking for, but I am writing from a deployed theater in the Middle East. I have the internet, a lot of free time and a steadfast will to repair my credit on my own while I am here. That having been said, there are some major problems by doing this from here. To start, I can't use AnnualCreditReport.com for a free report! The website offers big black text on a white screen stating that I must be using an United States-based internet service provider. Same problem with the national "Opt Out" website. Same problem with attempting to get free reports on the individual credit bureau websites. So it has been a costly effort for me. Then there is the time issue. I just now am starting to do some disputes by mail. Doing that from here is a pain the butt because a certified mail, return receipt request process is muddled by 10-14 days of one-way mail delay. At any rate, I have ample free time and have been enormously successful repairing bad credit this year by simply paying off all debt, keeping credit cards open and putting small purchases on each of them every month and paying them off within the grace period, and mastering (as best I can) how the FICO is compounded and what factors effect this score negatively.

I would argue that many/most deployed troops do better financially when they are deployed. There are of course exceptions. My colleague here is an Attorney at home. He takes a major cut. I would have, but my employer is making my pay whole -- so in the end, I came out way ahead because my living costs are next to nothing.

As for creditors, I used deployment orders to lower interest rates on credit cards (6%), put the cell phone account on hold (to keep my number -- cancel was another option), cancel other things (health club, etc). Overall, I have a hard time sympathizing with deployed troops that fail to take charge of their financials BEFORE they deploy. Nevertheless, when they are in theater, they have computer labs/laptops/ample internet and really no excuse to ignore personal finances.


BS.

When I was in Iraq in 06 I TRIED to fix my credit but just like you I could get my annual report and I couldnt get my FICO because I hadnt registered yet. What started my problems were Verizon Wireless. When I got back from my 1st deployent I went to Verizon to get a new cell. I asked them what would I have to do if I got orders to deploy again. They told me just to bring in my orders and they can cancel my contract right here and refund my deposit.

All was fine till I tried to do it. I was in another city so I went to another Verizon store. I explain what I needed to do and they told me they could help that I would need to fax my orders to CS. This was on Sunday night so I couldnt get that done and left at 6 am the next day for Germany.

I was finally able to get the C/O off my account this year but COMPANIES DO THIER BEST TO F&*^ OVER SOLDIERS!!!!!!!! Are you blind? I lost count of the number of those shady loan places right out the front gate. Heck I was watching TV when I first got here to Ft Polk and I saw an ad for a no credit check loan.

99.25% intrest.

Thats BS.

Edited by Shane, 07 August 2008 - 07:34 PM.


#75 collins135

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 07:36 AM

Id like to say that I agree with shane and call BS.

When you are on a ship, internet is a shaky thing at best. Plus others can ruin your internet privlages as what happend to DH and me this last deployment. Some dudes beat up another dude in a diff country so the whole ship was on lock down, no liberty, no phone no internet no nothing. For THREE MONTHS, I did not know if my DH was ok or not and had no friggen contact from the command because or oms chick was an idiot. SO how do you expect people to do credit work when crud like that happens???

Luckily for us I have control over the finances and everything with that was ok. but the military is not an easy avenue to deal with finances.

Oh, and they lie, a lot, about nearly everything. Ask me how i know.




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