Finance

Service members and veterans have financial benefits and resources that their civilian friends don’t.  Make sure to take advantage of these benefits. These include everything from exclusive life insurance options, to retirement benefits, to VA home loans.  You have an amazing opportunity to save money, plan for retirement, and buy a home at good rates without a down payment.

Questions and Answers About VA Home Loans

The VA home loan benefit is one of the most popular military benefits you can use. The GI Bill and VA disability benefits may compete for the most commonly used, but VA home loans are likely the best-known (and least understood) of the three. VA home loans are available for those who have served enough… Read more »

What to Know About the DoD Savings Deposit Program

The DoD Savings Deposit Program is a great way to save money! If you are getting ready for a deployment, or already on one, you should know about the SDP or the DoD’s Savings Deposit Program. This program was established to give service members the opportunity to invest their money while on deployment. Here is… Read more »

VA Loans Versus FHA Mortgages: Which Is Better?

Which is better, an FHA mortgage or a VA home loan? Some may be confused by this article’s headline. If you have access to a no-money-down VA mortgage with no mortgage insurance requirement, why would you consider an FHA mortgage loan instead? FHA loans, after all, have down payments and mortgage insurance requirements. VA home… Read more »

Avoiding Foreclosure on a VA Mortgage

If you have a VA mortgage and experience financial issues that make it hard to keep up with your mortgage payments, you are not alone.

Considerations For Using Your VA Loan Benefits as a Veteran

If you have never used your VA home loan benefits and are planning to retire or separate from the military, there are some issues to consider. For example, if you are not retiring, but separating from the military, buying a home may be more complicated if you don’t have a job lined up at loan… Read more »

VA Loan Rules for Mortgage Approval: Employment and Income

VA home loans are government-backed mortgages. That government backing makes it easier to qualify with FICO scores, employment history, and debt ratios. But even with the government’s guarantee to repay the participating VA lender in case of home loan default, the borrower must still financially qualify for the loan. What do you need to know… Read more »

VA Home Loan Approval: Facts You Should Know

If you are eligible for a VA home loan and want to apply to buy a home, there are some issues you should be familiar with long before you begin the process. The VA loan benefit is one of the most important options offered for some military members and veterans; the ability to qualify for… Read more »

A Scam Warning from the Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t typically dispense consumer advice the way federal watchdog agencies like the Federal Trade Commission does. But some circumstances require going the extra mile and the VA issued its very first “warning order” all the way back in 2017 to let VA borrowers know about a growing wave of scams… Read more »

continuation pay

Blended Retirement System Continuation Pay: What is it?

What is Continuation Pay in the Blended Retirement System? One of the key features of the “new” Blended Retirement System (BRS) is a feature called continuation pay. In short, continuation pay is a bonus-like payment given mid-career, for those enrolled in the BRS, in exchange for adding more years to their service. BRS Broken Down… Read more »

early deposit military

Financial Institutions Offering Early Direct Deposits for Military

Banks and Credit Unions That Make Early Deposits for Active Duty Military As a standard rule, service members know their bi-weekly salary will get paid out on the 1st and 15th of every month. For instances when that date falls on a weekend, the pay gets moved to the closest weekday instead. However, there are… Read more »

VA Cash-Out Refinancing Loans: Good Or Bad Idea?

VA Cash-Out Refinance loans are an option for those who qualify for the VA home loan program. This refinance loan option can be used to refinance any mortgage whether VA or non-VA into a VA home loan with cash back to the borrower at closing time. VA cash-out refi loans are different from other government-backed… Read more »

VA Loans and the Appraisal Process: What You Need to Know

What You Need to Know About the Appraisal Process for VA Loans If you are interested in buying a home, the appraisal process is one of the most important parts of the journey toward purchasing a house. This is due to two things. One is that your loan officer is required to ensure the home… Read more »

VA Home Loan Rules For Mobile Homes and Manufactured Housing

There are VA mortgages for a variety of loan purposes. You can buy a condo unit, townhome, duplex, and multi-unit properties with a VA mortgage. You can also use a VA loan to buy a mobile home and even the land that home is to be placed upon. VA loan rules for manufactured home purchases are a bit different than for buying a typical suburban home, but some of those differences have to do with the unique nature of manufactured housing. Learn more.

VA condo loan

Buying a Condo Unit With a VA Mortgage

Looking for a condo unit to purchase with a VA loan? Here are some important aspects of the condo loan process you should be aware of.

Home Depot Foundation Veterans

Veterans Housing Grants Through the Home Depot Foundation

Help for Veterans through the Home Depot Foundation You might shop at Home Depot, and know they have a military discount. But, they also have the Home Depot Foundation, which is committed to helping improve the homes and lives of U.S. Veterans and train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap and support communities that… Read more »

no more VA loan limits

VA Loan Limits 2022

What are the VA loan limits for 2022? The short answer is, if you have never used your VA loan benefits…

Can I Use Crypto for a VA Loan Down Payment?

Here we answer 2 questions, “why would I want to make a down payment on a VA loan mortgage?” and “can I use cryptocurrency for a down payment?” Learn more.

VA Loans, Investment Properties, and Deployments

What do VA home loan rules say about occupancy, deployments, and investment properties? These don’t sound like related topics at first, but believe it or not, the VA Lender’s Handbook, VA Pamphlet 26-7, has a lot to say about all three subjects and they do intersect. Learn more.

new tsp mobile app

Changes Coming to the Thrift Savings Plan in 2022

There will be an app that is coming out in mid-2022, that will make access to the TSP platform even easier. Also, there will be new tools such as a virtual assistant and virtual chat. There will also be a mutual fund window opening for the TSP. Learn more.

The VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility

The VA Certificate of Eligibility (VA COE) is your gateway to the VA home loan program and without it, you can’t officially move forward with a VA mortgage application. Learn more.

VA Refinance Loan Basics

If you are eligible for a VA mortgage, you also have the option to use a VA loan to refinance a VA or non-VA mortgage depending on the type of loan you currently have. There are two basic types of VA mortgage, the VA Cash-Out Refinance Loan and the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan… Read more »

VA Loan Basics

Basics of the VA Loan If you are new to your VA loan benefits, it’s good to review the requirements ahead of time so you can come to the home loan process ready to make informed choices about your home loan and your VA benefit. Here’s a primer on the VA home loan benefit that… Read more »

Amazon Accepts SNAP EBT as Payment Method

InciSNAP EBT Now Accepted By Amazon Since mid-2020, Amazon has accepted the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) payments. This pilot program aims to make food more accessible and more affordable for those most in need. What is SNAP EBT? Uniquely, SNAP EBT is a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that… Read more »

PCS Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning and PCS Prep: Companies That Can Help 

PCSing anytime soon? These Companies Can Help PCS season is here and with it, military families from around the US and the world are getting ready for their next move. There can be so much to do and a lot to think about when preparing for a PCS. Here is a list of companies that… Read more »

military pay charts 2022

Military Pay Charts 2022 [updated]

The Military Pay Charts for 2022.  According to federal law, military pay increases are to mirror private-sector wage growth as stated by the Employment Cost Index (ECI). Find military pay for 2022 in our handy military pay charts.

Self Employment Taxes: An Overview

Those who run their own small businesses or operate as independent contractors and gig workers, which includes Uber and Lyft drivers, personal shoppers who deliver groceries, military spouses who find traditional employment challenging, and freelance writers like me, must be aware that there are tax issues and deadlines that are different from regular, W-2 positions.

military families buying a home

Military Families: Should We Buy a Home?

Buying a home can be more complicated for military families. This list will introduce key factors for military families to consider.

VA Streamline Refinancing

What is VA Streamline Refinancing and How Can It Benefit You?

VA Streamline Refinancing is a different way of referring to the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, or VA IRRRL (pronounced “Earl”) and is an option for some homeowners who utilized a VA Loan to purchase their house.

military pay raise 2022

Military Pay Raises Likely to Be Smaller for 2022

For the last 2 years, service members have enjoyed pay raises of at least 3%.  However, it is becoming apparent that troops should not count on a similar military pay raise in 2022.

VA Loan For National Guard

VA Loan Eligibility Expanded for National Guard

The National Guard’s COVID-19 response has created some additional benefits, in the form of veteran home loans, or VA Loans. The latter was activated during the pandemic, thanks to a provision in the Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act.

live after military

Where Should Veterans Choose to Live After the Military

Deciding where to live and work after transitioning out of the military can be an overwhelming process especially if you haven’t decided which state to live in. We have put together some factors for you to consider. Setting yourself up to make sure your money goes further and living in a state that has veteran employment programs as well as companies willing to hire veterans will help the transition from military life to civilian life.

payback deadline for deferred social security tax extended

Payback Deadline for Deferred Social Security Tax Extended

Payback Deadline for Deferred Social Security Tax Extended With the passing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 just last week, the major change affecting service members, federal employees, and their families is the extension for repayment of deferred payroll taxes. Effective September 1, 2020, through a presidential order, military and federal employees’ paychecks presented… Read more »

military financial preparation

Military Financial Preparation: An Introduction

When first joining the military understanding your military pay factors, military benefits that can save you money, and tricks to reduce spending is crucial for financial planning. Understanding your finances from the start and developing a healthy cost-saving mindset can help you throughout your military career. Here’s a quick intro to financial preparation for the military.

Military Payroll Tax Deferral

Military Impact of Payroll Tax Deferral

President Trump signed a memo last month to allow employers to defer payment of employee-side social security payroll taxes, to provide relief to workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions.

veterans group life insurance

VGLI: Veterans’ Group Life Insurance Overview

VGLI Veterans’ Group Life Insurance What Is VGLI Coverage? VGLI is short for Veterans’ Group Life Insurance.  It’s a renewable term life insurance policy the VA offers recently separated Servicemembers and Veterans. It allows you to continue the life insurance coverage you had in uniform under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program. Unlike most… Read more »

Blended Retirement System Updates

Blended Retirement: BRS Round 2

Blended Retirement: Round 2 On June 23rd, 2020, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced the Re-Open Enrollment for Servicemembers to Opt-In to Updated Retirement Choice for Enduring Security (RESOURCES) Act of 2020, which “would promote financial security for military families by improving financial training,” according to a… Read more »

Life insurance for military

Does Your Life Insurance Match Your Life?

Make Sure Your Life Insurance Matches You and Your Family’s Needs? Though money can’t begin to fill the void caused by a death in a family, making sure the financial needs of your loved ones will be met, even in the worst case scenario, will give you peace of mind.  When you join the military,… Read more »