There are many service members in Mississippi that are struggling to repay debt. Civilians struggle with this problem too, but it affects military families at much higher rates. Military people also have more to fear from debt than civilians. This is because debt is just one of the many things that can affect their career progression.

Forbes reported in late 2018 that poor finances could cost military personnel their security clearance. Service members were just some of the people covered under new initiatives to monitor the finances of federal employees, particularly those who played any role in national security. To make matters worse, the odds are often stacked against service members, veterans and their families:

  • 40% more likely to have an underwater mortgage
  • 28% more likely to be late on at least one mortgage payment in the past year
  • 16% have fallen prey to fraudsters and lost money as a result
  • 9% more likely to engage in risky credit management habits, such as carrying a balance

So, what can service members and veterans do to protect themselves? Forbes recommends that veterans apply for any available benefits as they are free. If they or current service members decide to invest in or work with any business, they should check for licensing and accreditation. It is also important to resist time pressures and take the time to do research and make a solid decision with the help of licensed professionals.

For service members and veterans that are already in debt, it may not be too late to remedy the situation. NerdWallet recommends choosing a debt payoff strategy. The most common include snowball, avalanche, consolidation or a debt management plan. The webpage provides more details on what each of these is and how to follow through.

Sometimes, in an effort to provide more money for their families, service members do not only get swindled out of their savings. Their name gets tied with illegal activities they did not sign up for. This, too, may cost military personnel their security clearance as well as lead to jail time.

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