Showing posts with label Military service. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Military service. Show all posts

Thursday, September 2, 2021

How to Finance for College After Serving in the Military

After serving their country many veterans don’t have to find themselves struggling to pay for college because there are resources that can help finance a college degree after military service.

With just a little research on financing an advanced education, veterans can take advantage of the variety of benefits to get ahead in civilian life. There are many options available to those who want to go back to school after their service in the military, and here are a few to consider.

Military Tuition Assistance Programs

With the increasing cost of college, many students find it difficult to pay for a good education. Tuition assistance programs help you take the burden off your shoulders and help you earn your degree while working in the military. 

The tuition assistance programs vary depending on which branch of the military you enlist in, the structure of the program, and the time period.

The GI Bill

Many people are unaware of the original GI Bill or how it benefits those who served our country, but it's possible to get plenty of relevant information on it. The GI Bill, which was started after the Second World War, is a federal program that provides educational and housing assistance for veterans. 

There is also the Post 9/11 GI Bill. It’s designed for those service members who were discharged after September 11th, 2001.

Online Universities

There is also the option of enrolling in an online university for military service members. Many colleges and universities offer a wide range of award-winning academic programs and services to veterans, active-duty military service members. Military spouses, and military family members

Loan Repayment Assistance for Military Students

Military service members are often required to repay all of the loans they took out when they enrolled in college. However, these students may be unsure of how to proceed with repayment after their service is done. 

This assistance program is for those military servicemen who want to continue their education, or already have a degree and want to find a new career path, who can use this program to find an affordable loan repayment plan.

Loan Forgiveness for Military Students

Military student loan forgiveness programs are designed to help military students get forgiveness for loans that they applied for to get through college.

Those who have served or are serving in the military have many benefits, programs, and resources available to help them easily transition from military life to civilian life and get the education they need to secure well-paying jobs in a wide range of industries or professions.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Leaving the Military? Time to Get your Finances in Order

Whether you are being discharged or are retiring from the military, it is important to use the organisational skills that you picked up during your service when it comes to sorting out your finances.

When leaving the military, you will probably fall into one of three groups; you may have joined during or after high school and therefore don’t have any real financial education, or you may be retiring after completing your 20 years of service. 

Alternatively, you may have been discharged following an injury during service. For each of these groups there are different things that you may want to consider in order to help secure your finances.

Discharged due to injury?

If you have been discharged following an injury, then you may feel daunted about what is to come. If you have lost a limb or are suffering from PTSD, then the idea of getting a civilian job may make you extremely anxious.

If you have been left with a lasting injury or condition as a result of your service, then you may be eligible to claim VA disability benefits. The best place to start is by heading over to the Chisholm, Chisholm and Kilpatrick website to use their VA compensation calculator

The math behind VA disability benefits is a little more complex than you would expect, so if math isn’t your strongpoint, then this calculator will quickly identify your “efficiency level” which will dictate how much you may be due in compensation.

Retiring after your 20 years’ service?

Retirees who complete their service will be due a lifetime pension plan – the amount you will be paid is determined by your years of service and final rank, and regulations can differ depending on which service branch you served.

If you are intending on continuing to work a civilian job then you may want to consider rolling your pension over to either an individual retirement plan or the retirement plan of the company that you go on to work for. 

Whilst most veterans would prefer to start receiving a steady income as soon as they retire, there are many advantages of utilising a stretch IRA or Roth IRA, as this will help your money grow without incurring any tax.

Leaving the military as a young enlistee?

If you enrolled in the military out of high school, then you may have missed a lot of financial education which will have benefited you in the future. As a result of this, many young enlistees rack up debts and end up taking out emergency loans when they leave the military, not to mention they have little to no savings.

To avoid falling foul of the same fate, it is important to quickly learn how to budget your money and consider which things in life are necessities and which are luxuries. There will also be services available to you locally that can help you learn how to manage your money effectively. Don’t feel a loss of pride for having to use these – they can be the difference between you thriving financially and falling upon hard times.

Friday, November 8, 2013

5 Ways to Manage Your Finances During Deployment

An impending deployment can lead to tremendous stress and anxiety, and financial hardship is one of the biggest obstacles facing deployed service members and their families. Many active-duty members have spouses and children to support. Others fear losing sight of their educational and career goals while serving a lengthy tour overseas. Although deployment can be fiscally challenging, it does not have to mean a financially unstable future. Mange your finances and use the resources available while on deployment by following these five tips. 

Continue Your Education Online

A major factor in achieving a financially stable future is getting a degree that will land you a high-paying job after military service. Continuing your education online is a great way to pursue your educational goals while you are deployed. Plan carefully when selecting your school and look for institutions that offer military scholarships and grant military credit through the American Counsel of Education (ACE) program. Every college performs ACE reviews to determine how much credit will be granted for the military experience you’ve already gained. Shop around to find the school that offers the most.

The military also offers active-duty soldiers tuition assistance for their online courses. This covers all tuition costs that do not exceed $250 per semester hour or $4,500 per fiscal year. You can apply for this benefit online through and will receive notification when your request has been approved. Each academic year, you and your commander must sign a Tuition Assistance Statement of Understanding to continue receiving this benefit. 

Take Advantage of Deployment Entitlements

Knowing which deployment entitlements you are eligible for is helpful in the financial-planning process. All soldiers who are deployed for more than 30 days are eligible for per diem in the amount of $105 per month, which is provided in addition to your base salary. Family Separation Allowance is also available to soldiers with authorized dependents, which provides an additional $250 per month. Those serving in a hostile fire or imminent danger area receive an additional $7.50 per day, and soldiers who are deployed to areas with extremely low quality of life conditions may be eligible for hardship duty pay. Depending on the specific qualifying location, hardship duty pay offers payments ranging from $50 to $150 per month. Contact your unit’s administrative section to find out the additional pay you will be receiving, and calculate your entitlements ahead of time to assist you with your budgeting goals. 

Use Opportunities to Save Overseas

There are many ways you can save while you are serving on a deployment, and the process of using these opportunities begins before you leave. Simple steps such as cancelling your Netflix account, gym membership and cellphone service can save you a lot of money while you are away. Be sure to unplug appliances, such as your refrigerator, to dramatically reduce your electric bill — or consider renting out your home to earn extra money.

Once you deploy, it is also a great idea to invest in the Savings Deposit Program (SDP), which allows you to deposit up to $10,000 once you have been deployed for 30 days. This program, sponsored by the Department of Defense, offers a 10-percent return and continues to collect interest for up to 120 days after your deployment ends. Additionally, you can keep your SDP going for as long as 36 months, provided you are deployed for at least a day per month. 

Know Your Legal Deployment Rights

Before you deploy, familiarize yourself with your rights under the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA). This law protects service members called to active duty from adverse civil action in areas regarding financial management. Under this law, you are protected from eviction if your rent is under $1,200 per month. You can also suspend auto leases as well as car and health-insurance payments. Additionally, you may receive reduced rates on credit card and mortgage payments, and are protected from foreclosure. Even if your debt was accrued prior to your active duty, the SCRA places a six-percent per year interest rate cap on any of your existing debt during your active duty service. To invoke your rights under this law, you may obtain proof of your Title 10 active-duty status through the SCRA website. 

Maintain Open Communication With Family Members

Discussing your bills and creating a sensible budget with your spouse before leaving will give you a better understanding of your family’s financial situation. Before you deploy, it is also a good idea to obtain military legal assistance in the event your spouse will need to make purchases on your behalf while you are away. Keeping an honest and open line of communication about your spending with your spouse will give you both a realistic idea of where you are financially and allow you to plan accordingly.

Deploying overseas can be a stressful time; however, by following these tips, you can eliminate financial hardship from your list of concerns. Those who face an upcoming deployment can have financial peace of mind as they bravely serve their country.

About the Author: Dawn Johnson is a contributing writer and has served two deployments in Afghanistan. 

Image by DVIDSHUB from Flickr’s Creative Commons

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