Being a member of the military comes with a unique set of cultural norms and lived experiences. It also comes with different financial concerns and management skills than civilians need.
Payactiv honors your service and sacrifice with tools to help you reach the financial success you deserve.
As a military member, it’s important to know that there are predatory financial companies that will try to prey on your steady paycheck or benefits. One of the most universal examples is payday lenders, but there are other businesses you should also be aware of.
Predators to watch out for include:
Aside from budgeting and tracking expenses, setting up an emergency fund is the first step on anyone’s financial journey. As a military member, you might think you don’t have to save since there’s no concern about your paychecks stopping. The reality is that emergencies happen as often for military members as civilians, so it’s best to be prepared.
Most financial professionals recommend saving up to three to six months of pay in an emergency fund. This money can then be used to pay for car repairs, medical expenses not covered by TriCare, or airfare home to visit family at the last minute. It can cover anything not already in your monthly budget if you replenish it when you’re done.
Three to six months of savings is an intimidating goal. Fortunately, tools like SmartSave on the Payactiv App1 can help you break down your savings goal into manageable, reasonable chunks.
Credit is complex and can be a complicated topic to tackle on your own.
Payactiv members get access to free financial coaching from experienced financial counselors. This includes individualized credit coaching services.
One of the best ways to improve your credit score and overall financial health is by tackling your debt. If you have debt, meet with a financial coach to determine the best payoff strategy.
As you consider taking on new debts, understand that many lenders will try to load you down with as much debt as possible, even if affording the payoff isn’t reasonable relative to your pay. If you don’t have good credit, they will likely tack on high-interest rates.
You can avoid taking on debt in the first place by using tools like the Payactiv Visa®Card*, which gives you access to your pay up to two days before your actual payday. With the Payactiv Visa Card you can pay bills, shop, withdraw cash instantly at an ATM, pay a friend and get paid. Payactiv also gives you Earned Wage Access (EWA), allowing you to access your earned but unpaid wages.
By accessing your own money when you need it, you can avoid predatory loans that can push you in a debt spiral.
Even if you’re not making much money in your career, investing for your future is still a good idea. The longer your money is in the market, the more interest it can earn. You can start with a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
As a military member, you can get free support on base or online through the Office of Financial Readiness. Not only can you get assistance with investing, but you can also get help with things like taxes or legal representation if you’re in a bad situation with a debt collector. Just be sure to ask whoever is helping you what certifications they hold.
For example, the person helping you file your taxes might have a communications Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) but is doing temporary duty with minimal training to help you during tax season. Ideally, you’d want your paperwork reviewed by an actual CPA.
When it comes to legal help, ideally, you’ll want to meet with someone who passed the bar. Or, when it comes to investing, you want to look for professional credentials like CFP or CFA.
Your money needs might differ as a military member, but help is available through in-person services on base and Payactiv. Consider using these tools alongside the support you get from the military so that you can get on the road to better finances.
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* The Payactiv Visa Prepaid Card is issued by Central Bank of Kansas City, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Certain fees, terms, and conditions are associated with the approval, maintenance, and use of the Card. You should consult your Cardholder Agreement and the Fee Schedule at payactiv.com/card411. If you have questions regarding the Card or such fees, terms, and conditions, you can contact us toll free at 1 (877) 747-5862, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
All content provided on Payactiv.com/financial-learning/ is for informational purposes only. Payactiv makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link from this site. Payactiv will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. Payactiv will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.
* The Payactiv Visa Prepaid Card is issued by Central Bank of Kansas City, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Certain fees, terms, and conditions are associated with the approval, maintenance, and use of the Card. You should consult your Cardholder Agreement and the Fee Schedule at payactiv.com/card411. If you have questions regarding the Card or such fees, terms, and conditions, you can contact us toll-free at 877-747-5862, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
** Central Bank of Kansas City is the issuer of the Payactiv Visa Prepaid Card only and does not administer, endorse, nor is liable for the Payctiv App.
1 Standard rates for data and messaging may apply from your wireless provider.
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