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.

SGLI

Who Is Eligible for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)?

SGLI is an acronym that stands for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. This insurance is a low-cost insurance option provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The federal government purchases group life insurance from “a commercial life insurance company” according to the VA official site. Service members can choose coverage in $50 thousand increments with a… Read more »

military benefits

Military Allowances Guide

What are military allowances? These are different types of payment than your base pay, proficiency pay, hazardous duty pay, or others. An allowance typically meets a specific need or anticipates a certain need. They may be needed to offset the cost of relocating to a new assignment, to help make family separations more affordable, or… Read more »

VA Home Loan Guide

The VA loan benefit is designed to help qualifying active duty, Reserve, National Guard, veterans, and surviving spouses build, buy, renovate, or refinance a home. Learn more.

VA Loan Eligibility Exceptions

The VA mortgage benefit is one of the most important military benefits you can qualify for outside of the GI Bill. But did you know that some who did not serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard could still qualify? VA home loans typically require a minimum amount… Read more »

VA loans

VA Loans: Why Credit Scores Matter

Credit scores are one “pillar” of VA loan approval, and combined with your loan repayment record and your history of income and employment, this information tells the lender a great deal about you as a potential credit risk. But the credit score issue can be confusing for many. One of the most important things to… Read more »

VA Refinance

What To Know About VA Home Loan Refinancing

There are important things to know about refinancing a home loan using a VA mortgage. The first thing to know is that not all VA loan options can be used to refinance a non-VA loan but there are options for those who do want to refinance a non-VA mortgage. Not all refinance loans feature cash… Read more »

VA benefits

Who Qualifies For A VA Home Loan?

Do you need to know about VA home loan eligibility requirements? Most who serve on active duty today are required to serve 90 continuous days on active duty before they can apply for a VA Certificate of Eligibility for a VA home loan. But what about members of the National Guard or the Reserve? What… Read more »

VA Home Loans Vs. Other Mortgage Options

The VA home loan is an important military benefit. The ability to apply for a mortgage with no down payment and no VA-required mortgage insurance premiums are two major financial incentives to choose a VA mortgage. But how do VA loans compare with other types of mortgage loans? When comparing government loan programs such as… Read more »

How to Use a VA Mortgage

The VA Home Loan program is one of the most popular non-medical military benefits you can use. Only the GI Bill rivals the VA loan program in terms of its visibility and usefulness, but some of the VA loan program’s options aren’t as well-understood. For example, did you know that when you are approved for… Read more »

VA Home Loan Rule Changes

When was the last time you explored your VA loan options? If it’s been a while, some aspects of the program may be quite different for you. In 2020, there were alterations made to the VA home loan benefit thanks to legislation known as the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. Some of… Read more »

VA Loans, Down Payments, and Gift Funds

You may not be required to make a down payment for a VA home loan, but some borrowers choose to do so to lower the amount of the VA loan funding fee and get a lower starting balance on the mortgage. In such cases, a borrower might seek some kind of down payment help to… Read more »

VA Home Loans Fact & Fiction

What do you need to know about VA mortgages before applying for one? Sometimes half the battle is knowing the facts and ignoring the myths and half-truths. VA Loan Facts: Many Housing Types Are Possible You can use a VA loan to buy, refinance, or renovate a suburban home, condo unit, mobile home or manufactured… Read more »

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 »

DoD Savings Deposit Program

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.