December 4, 2015, by Anica Oaks – There are over 2.25 million veterans living in the United States, according to Veterans Inc. With so many separated service people living in the civilian world, you may think the transition is easy. However, there are financial stumbling blocks that are common among recent veterans. Here are some tips to help you make a smooth transition into civilian life.
If you signed up for the military right out of high school or college, your credit report may be a blank slate. This can be a challenge when it comes times to buy a car, turn on utilities or finance an engagement ring. To establish credit, you can open up a prepaid credit card. Once you’ve made your payments on time, you will then be invited to apply for unsecured credit cards. Be careful and responsible with any account you open.
Many veterans come home with large bank balances, as combat pay has piled up in their checking accounts during active duty. If you’re sitting in a large sum, you will want to look into safe investment options for a portion of that money. Talk to someone at your bank or research your options online. Avoid bold moves, like playing in the stock market, until you are comfortable with high-risk investing. They key to wise investing is to start slowly and be conservative, then move on to more complicated or risky ventures as your money grows and your knowledge improves.
Use Veteran Financial Services
The Veterans Association (VA) offers mortgages to veterans at an attractive interest rate, which you can view at Low VA Rates. You can also take advantage of USAA bank, which offers up a wide range of banking products to fit your life and circumstances. Of course, if a public bank suits your needs more precisely, feel free to choose a local bank or credit union to conduct business.
Use Veteran Discounts
Veterans are offered discounts for a ton of services, from bus tickets and train fare to food and beverages. If you’re just starting out in your civilian career, these discounts will come in handy and can save you a lot of money over time. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to ask for the discount, either, as this is usually just the business’ way of thanking you for your service.
Seguing into civilian life as a veteran comes with challenges, especially when it comes to financial matters. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to have a smooth transition and make smart decisions about your money.
About the Author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.