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Military Finances
Managing debt in post-military life
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You have minimal savings but also high-interest debt. What should you focus on first?


With a high rate, interest on your debt will accrue faster than your savings. Prioritizing your high-interest debt will help free up funds for saving. If your rate is reasonable and balance under control, you should start saving for emergencies and long-term investments.

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To prevent decreases in your credit score, your balance should be less than what percentage of your credit limit?


A low balance is key for maintaining a good score. Creditors may have ignored your credit score while you were in active duty, but now that you’re a civilian, they’ll examine it closely.

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Key Takeaways

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Transitioning to civilian life comes with a new set of financial realities. As you adjust, it’s critical to understand those changes and take the necessary steps to stay in control of your debt.

  • Reassess your budget now that you’re a civilian; you’ve likely experienced an change of income along with an increase in living expenses
  • Be aware that restrictions on interest rates for active military members no longer apply, now that you’re a veteran
  • Work on increasing your credit score as it will lead to exponential savings in the long term and keep you in control of your finances
  • When tackling your debt, empower yourself by knowing what you’re up against—determine how much you owe and make a plan to pay it down
  • Even in emergency situations, avoid resorting to high-interest payday loans