Credit and Finances Future Military Homeowners

  • You're In The Money: What Should I Do With My Military Bonus?

    You’re In The Money: What Should I Do With My Military Bonus?

    Each year, the military pays out huge amounts of money to individuals who enlist and re-enlist. These bonuses can be as much is $90,000, depending on your specialty and the length of your commitment. For many people, a military bonus is one of the few times in their lives when they have a check in their hands which is equal to a year or more of salary. This is a very big deal and one to be handled with great cauti…

  • 3 Options for Upside-Down Mortgages in the Military

    3 Options for Upside-Down Mortgages in the Military

    The housing crash of 2008 combined with high unemployment rates and the transient military lifestyle has left far too many service members facing upside-down mortgages, where homeowners owe more than the home is worth. Military homeowners, like all others, should start with their lender or servicer to see what help might be available. They can also explore their eligibility for the government's Making Home Aff…

  • 4 Questions for Single Homebuyers to Consider Before Buying

    4 Questions for Single Homebuyers to Consider Before Buying

    You can't buy a house unless you're married...right? Wrong. Single men and women make up a big chunk of the nation’s homebuyers, and that trend continues to grow. Single homebuyers purchased 33 percent of all homes sold in 2011, up from 32 percent in 2010 and 31 percent in 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors. But whether you’re single or happily married, timing your home purchase c…

  • 2012 BAH Rates Change, Increase on Average

    2012 BAH Rates Change, Increase on Average

    Active military members nationwide are still tweaking budgets and otherwise dealing with adjustments to Basic Allowance for Housing rates that took effect at the beginning of the year. Basic Allowance for Housing rates increased by 2 percent on average. Subject to change annually, these housing allowances vary depending on several factors, including geography, rank and family size. Service members considering …

  • 6 Ways To Cut Utility Costs This Winter

    6 Ways To Cut Utility Costs This Winter

    As cooler weather settles in throughout much of the country, you may be wondering what kind of dent heating your home this winter will make. There are some simple, economical ways to keep costs manageable as well as to reduce your overall utility usage whether you’re in an apartment saving for a new home, spending your first winter in a new home or just trying to spend less on utilities this year in general.…

  • 3 Simple Ways to Let a Credit Card Ruin Your Credit Score

    3 Simple Ways to Let a Credit Card Ruin Your Credit Score

    A major concern for military families is their credit. Although there are other ways to bolster your credit score, 91 percent of military respondents to a 2010 FINRA Investor Education Foundation study said they had at least one credit card. When used responsibly, credit cards can help boost your credit score and provide financing breathing room for military families. But misusing credit cards can do the opposi…

  • 4 Hidden Expenses to Be Ready for After Moving In

    4 Hidden Expenses to Be Ready for After Moving In

    On the cusp of buying a home, it’s hard to see what damages could occur down the road. The rose-tinted glasses can be especially strong for military homebuyers who finance with a VA loan that practically eliminates down payments and out-of-pocket expenses. VA loan borrowers should take advantage of those savings and set aside what otherwise would’ve been spent on a down payment or closing costs. This way, …

  • When the House You Want to Buy Needs Some Love

    It’s the one. Or is it? When you find a house you love that’s in some disrepair, you feel torn. On the one hand, you could invest some money, time and energy in getting it fixed. Or you could keep shopping the market in hopes of finding the same house in mint condition. Look at these tips to assess what option is best for you. Follow your heart and buy this one. If you love the house and it’s not dilapidate…

  • What’s Stopping You? Hold-Ups and Solutions to Buying a Home

    What’s Stopping You? Hold-Ups and Solutions to Buying a Home

    Buying a home is one of the biggest financial ventures an individual or family will take on in their lifetime. For some, it can seem like a process riddled with obstacles and delays that makes it seem like homeownership is unattainable. But the reality is many of those roadblocks can be overcome. Here’s a look at a few of the major issues that can complicate a home purchase and some of the solutions to help d…

  • Lighthouse: Working With Customers to Build Credit and a New Future

    Lighthouse: Working With Customers to Build Credit and a New Future

    A petite brunette with twinkling blue eyes and dimpled cheeks, Carla Blair-Gamblian might not look like the type you'd choose to be on your side in a fight. But don't let her appearance fool you. Carla works in the credit trenches, and she has been working with customers tackle just about every credit problem you can imagine. And while each of Carla's clients has a unique story, they also have a few things in comm…