Education & Career Smart Military Money

  • A Word of Warning About Campus Debit Cards

    A Word of Warning About Campus Debit Cards

    Campus debit cards may appear to be an easy, low-cost solution to handling your finances while in college, but students should be aware that many of these cards carry excessive hidden fees. According to a report by the United States Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG), many of the banks behind these cards are taking advantage of students who need them in order to access their financial aid. There are now …

  • New Law for Military Homeowners Allows More Options to Refinance

    New Law for Military Homeowners Allows More Options to Refinance

    On May 18, new legislation passed the House as part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would grant military homeowners the ability to refinance their mortgages even if they do not live in the residence at the time. Thousands of military members have experienced the headache of being forced to PCS or deploy without being able to sell their home. The Fairness for Military Homeowners Ac…

  • Sequestration Could Have Serious Consequences for Military Members

    Sequestration Could Have Serious Consequences for Military Members

    Politicians on both sides of the aisle agree that deep cuts are essential to bring the federal budget under control. But they are still having trouble agreeing on how to implement the necessary reductions before next year. The Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 requires the federal government to reduce spending by more than $1 trillion by 2021. This amounts to cutting about $109 billion from the budget each year…

  • Congress Considers Automatic COLA Increases

    Congress Considers Automatic COLA Increases

    Every year veterans play a waiting game to see if they'll receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Congress has never failed to pass legislation to grant these increases. But keeping the adjustment in legislative limbo each year continues to rile veterans groups and some elected officials. "Congress has routinely provided this increase, but it is an added step that confuses and leaves veterans feeling un…

  • A Quick Rundown on Tax Extensions

    A Quick Rundown on Tax Extensions

    Tax day is almost here, but if you are a service member or spouse of a service member, you may qualify for some extra time to file and pay your taxes. As a final wrap-up to Smart Military Money's Tax Tips & Tricks series, here is a brief overview of tax extensions and how they can help military members and their families. Applying for a Tax Extension If you’re in the U.S. and need additional time t…

  • Stop Loss Compensation Program Extended for Eligible Service Members

    Stop Loss Compensation Program Extended for Eligible Service Members

    Service members who were involuntarily extended through “stop loss” now have another chance to apply for compensation. The Department of Defense has extended the deadline for the Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay Program to Oct 21, 2012. Service members, veterans and beneficiaries of service members who endured stop loss are eligible for $500 a month for each month they were not allowed to separate. The av…

  • 2 Great Options to Save for Your Child's Education

    2 Great Options to Save for Your Child’s Education

    When you look at your kid, sometimes it’s hard to imagine that they’ll grow up and consider going to college. The good news is that most military families start saving for college early. According to a FINRA Investor Education Foundation survey, 52 percent of military respondents with financially dependent children have started saving for college. Here’s a quick look at two of the popular save-for-college op…

  • How to Turn Military Training into College Credit

    How to Turn Military Training into College Credit

    Having a college degree can make or break your future paycheck – so working toward a degree early is a smart move. Thanks to the American Council on Education (ACE) and its military programs, military personnel can actually receive college credit for their training outside the normal college setting. It all began with the founding of ACE in 1942. The organization's primary goal was recognizing the educationa…

  • Considerations for the Post-Military Route to Retirement

    Considerations for the Post-Military Route to Retirement

    When you enlist in the military, it doesn’t take long to start taking advantage of perks like allowances, tax breaks, insurance and more. One perk that requires a lot more patience to acquire is retirement. Currently, the 20-year stipulation for eligibility still stands, although there has been debate over future changes. The decision to enlist for 20 years is a big one with a lot of contributing factors—esp…

  • Student Loan Options

    Student Loan Options

    Military members who want to attend college have several funding options available. For qualifying service members GI Bill Benefits are available, but for those who do not qualify, loans are an option, too. The reality is the military’s education benefits may not always cover all expenses. It isn’t uncommon for students to seek out loans to close any gaps. What Student Loan Options are Available T…