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Top 5 Ways to Avoid the Debt Monster

If you’ve served in the military, you have done a wonderful service to the country. However, unfortunately, you might not have made as much money as if you were a corporate executive. That’s ok – there are plenty of ways you can earn more money and also avoid debt. Read on for the top 5 ways you can make sure you and your family stay out of debt.

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Papers on a Desk for a Budget

Creating a Budget from Scratch

Maybe it was recent financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, or perhaps it was just a desire to make smarter long-term financial decisions, but you’ve probably realized how important a budget is to your overall financial health. Just the act of creating the budget can be enlightening and put a spotlight on ways and areas you spend money that you might not have realized (the classic example being how much one spends in a year if one gets a Starbucks latte every day). However, if you’ve never created a budget before, the task can be daunting, and you may not know where to start. Once you get the process underway and turn it into a routine, you’ll find keeping and maintaining a budget to be an easy and worthwhile task. Here are some key steps to getting it started.

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Top 3 VA Home Loan Tips to Keep in Mind

When getting ready to buy a new home, there is a feeling of excitement. After the excitement tempers down a bit, the next question is, “how are we going to pay for it?” Most of us decide to use our VA home loans, to secure our new dwelling, but there are some tips to keep in mind when you go to purchase that new house!   VA home loans are becoming more popular, as many service members are looking to purchase new homes. This is especially true as many look toward retirement and financial goals. We have put together the top three things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to using a VA home loan.  
  1. Find a Realtor That Understands How A VA Home Loan Works – you would think that most realtors understand this, but they don’t. When looking for a realtor, ask your friends who they used, and about their experiences with the realtor. VA home loans are different from other loans, and there are many things that you can be exempt from paying, such as down payments, and other fees. These exemptions can be based on disability ratings from the VA, so be sure that you know what you are entitled to. If your realtor is experienced in VA home loans, they can save you a lot of headaches when it comes to getting your home loan approved and funded in time for you to move into your new home.
  2. Know the Occupancy Requirements – As with most loans, there are rules and regulations that go with the VA home loan. One of the little-known requirements is the occupancy rules. When using a VA loan, you will be asked if this will be your primary residence for at least one year. While this timeline can change, one year is the current standard. This is something that you will want to keep in mind as you prepare to purchase your new home. If you are still active duty, this can affect your loan, if you are coming up on orders soon.
  3. Know your credit – Your credit plays a huge role in any loan. With the VA loan, you need to be sure that you have clean credit. The VA will dive into your finances, looking to be sure that you have a reliable income in order to cover the loan. They will also look for any nuances that might need to be explained, such as any income that is not claimed on our taxes, bank account information, and any little dings on your credit that might need to have a letter of explanation.
If you are not sure about how your credit looks, you can do a quick view online to be sure that you are in good shape to buy a home. While you are in the process of going through the mortgage process, do not take out any new lines of credit. This could hurt your chances of final approval on your VA home loan.   As with any loan, these are the top tips that we can give you! If you have any questions as to how the VA home loan process works, or need any more information, you can contact us now!

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How to Cope with Financial Stress During a Quarantine

Families across the country are feeling the stress of the pandemic and subsequent quarantines affecting much of the country. There are children at home, people are trying to get the hang of work and school from home and the little normal things of life, like sports, have gone by the wayside (for now). On top of all of this, the cycle of bills keeps moving like usual, causing the potential for major financial stress. However, there are some things to keep in mind to help you get through any added worry about money during the craziness of a quarantine.

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How To Use Credit Cards Responsibly

I was always told a rule of thumb that I highly recommend to everyone when it comes to the use of credit cards, “If you don’t have cash or the funds in your checking account to pay for something, then don’t use your credit card to buy it.” Now, that is great when it comes to personal or material things, but what happens when you’re in a bind and need a new tire and you can’t afford it until next week? Read below to find out the best ways to be a savvy credit card user.

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5 Tips To Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a 3-digit number that plays a big role in your financial life. We all know that when it comes to larger purchases, like a house or a vehicle, you need to have a good credit score. If you are stuck in a rut or simply want to raise your credit score by a few points, read these five simple steps for improving your score.

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Members of the Military: Getting Out of Debt

Military debt is surprisingly common amongst soldiers. Protecting our country often leads to loved ones at home with financial worries.   Deployment is not always to blame for these struggles, military families are vulnerable to the same financial traps that everyone else is exposed to.    No matter who you are, debt is no fun! Here are some basic tips to help relieve the stress of financial debt. 

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Successful Finances in 2019: Plan for a better financial future

If you are like most military families, bills, money and finances, in general, are fresh in your mind. Most military families have credit card debt, mortgage payments, large grocery bills, auto loans and countless other bills and expenses required to support and raise a family.

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Military Family Finances: Preparing for holiday expenses in 2018

Every store we visit right now is bombarded with marketing posters, ads with sales on toys, holiday decorations, the latest electronics to look for and more. With all of the distractions, military families are often enticed by the buzz of holiday shopping. Are you tempted to spend too much this holiday season? Check out these quick tips on how to enjoy the holiday shopping season, while not derailing your future financial health.

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