If the past three years have taught us anything, it’s that home certainly is where the heart is. If you’re a veteran, active service person or military family member, and experiencing financial hardship, struggling to meet the mortgage demands on your home, or suffering from household debt, the burden can be considerable.
The first thing to know is that there are Veterans Administration Debt-Relief Options available.
The second is to gain an understanding of how and where to access the right information on what governmental schemes may be applicable to your individual circumstances, and what other help is on offer through independent organizations and financial advisory companies.
The Debt of VA Service
The vocation-centric lifestyle of military members and their loved ones can conspire to create financial stressors both during and post-active duty. Deployment, relocation, and other disruptions to the physical and mental health of some military personnel can lead to the accumulation of debt, and in severe cases to the threat of foreclosure on a veteran’s property.
A US Census Bureau report confirmed that debt is indeed commonplace amongst veterans. It revealed that compared to the general population, veteran households had a lower than average net worth, and higher-than-average credit card debt levels.
Option shopping for VAs
Veteran’s debt relief options are not easily defined as they tend to be state-specific, limited in their usage scope, and accessible through both government and non-government channels. For military families that find themselves under economic stress, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides options to access both low-interest loans, and grants that can serve to cancel debts.
If the monies required are to be applied to nonessential circumstances such as a home extension, a VA loan with favorable repayment rates may be an appropriate solution. If the accumulated debt is threatening a veteran’s ability to service their mortgage or provide for life’s necessities, applying for a military grant may be a more viable and immediate option.
Military grants for debt relief provide an attractive option in relevant circumstances as they essentially offer up money that does not need to be repaid. They are intended to be applied in situations where some of a veteran’s costs of living are not being met.
This could be as a result of an unexpected event such as illness or may be due to the long-term financial constraints subjected on military families where often only one parent is in full-time employment. The VA’s online portal is an appropriate starting point to gather information on what military grants and low-interest debt relief options are available.
Churches, charitable organizations, and other private enterprises are also sometimes benefactors of financial assistance programs intended for veterans. Each grant of this type will likely be offered directly through the organization and will be accompanied by its own individual application. Once again, there’s work to be done in searching for all the available grant options in a particular area and in determining which may be appropriate to your circumstances.
It’s worth noting that at this present time, there are no VA military debt relief programs that specifically target consumer debt. There is, however, always the option of connecting with a debt solutions company such as Freedom from Debt that offers programs designed to address consumer debt and return a client to economic health.
With the Department of Defense the nation’s largest employer of young men, and our future veterans, the financial well-being of this sector of the community is of primary concern.
If you’re a veteran, are on active duty, or are the family member of some who is, you can raise any concerns about your family’s financial health with a VA advisor. Whilst it may not come naturally to many in the military to be the one asking for assistance rather than offering it, seeking out debt consolidation, debt absolution, and debt relief options is absolutely the right thing to do for you and your family.
Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.