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Unfortunately, America’s veterans often find themselves struggling against debt. If you’re a veteran in debt, we recommend doing some thorough research before committing to work with any debt relief company to ensure they’re reputable and trustworthy

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) study found that “veterans are 40 percent more likely to be underwater on their home and 28 percent more likely to have made a late home payment in the past year.” Meanwhile, a study by ConsumerCredit.com found that only 25% of enlisted personnel always pay their credit card in full, compared to 41% of civilians. Finally, military members tend to have a debt-to-income ratio of 46.5%, about 10% higher than civilians, according to veteransplus.org. It’s clear that many U.S. veterans could benefit from some help with their debt.

If you’re considering taking on debt consolidation as your next step in getting out from under your debts, read this article first!

Debt consolidation options for veterans

There are several paths for veterans looking to delay or resolve debt problems. These include loan consolidation, debt settlement, establishing lines of credit for home equity, or looking into a debt management program. Each option has their pros and cons, so it’s important to do your research before making a decision. Contacting a certified debt consultant could also help you weigh your options. 

Military debt consolidation loan

A military debt consolidation loan offers a way for veterans to get out from under their debt. These loans are designed especially with veterans in mind, so as long as you’re active or have received an honorable discharge, they’re available to you. 

Through a military consolidation loan, a lender provides you with a loan that you can use to cover outstanding debts. Instead of making monthly payments to multiple creditors, you make a single monthly payment to one lender on the new loan. While debt consolidation might seem like an attractive solution to streamline your finances, it’s important to note that this does not reduce the amount you’re required to pay back, and it might not be the best option if you cannot afford to pay back what you owe. If you can’t afford to pay back what you owe, debt settlement might be a better option for you. Working with a reputable debt settlement company could help save you up to half or more on your debts and have you debt-free in as little as 24-36 months.

Military debt settlement

Another alternative to debt consolidation is debt settlement. A debt settlement company will negotiate with your creditors to forgive a portion of your outstanding debt so you could become debt-free for less than what you currently owe. Reputable debt settlement companies also won’t charge any upfront fees—they only get paid after they help you resolve your debt.

Veteran student loan repayment plans

There are several options for repayment of student loans for veterans, but the best choice will depend on your situation. The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides monthly payments to help cover costs, such as tuition and housing while you’re in school, plus a stipend after graduation. However, be aware that there are limitations in the form of an income cap. 

Another option is the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), which offers student loan repayment up to $200,000. However, this program often has limited funding.

A third option for military student loan repayment revolves around the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Among other things, this program helps protect veterans who are on active duty with additional legal protections that aren’t available to the general public. SCRA limits the interest on loans you may have taken out prior to joining the military to 6% or less, including student loans.

Debt relief for military spouses

There are debt relief options available for spouses of military members. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) allows spouses of active-duty military members to suspend their education and other legal obligations. The SCRA also requires debt collectors to get court approval before trying a civil case against a military spouse or taking any action that would seize the service member’s assets.

How can CreditAssociates help?

If you’re a service member looking for a way out of debt, CreditAssociates can help. For 14 years, the CreditAssociates team has been a leader in the debt settlement industry, and we’ve helped tens of thousands of people in similar situations become debt-free. To get your free, no-commitment debt evaluation give our team a call today. A certified debt consultant will walk through your situation and review with you a personalized plan. 

Common Debt Consolidation Questions from Veterans:

Does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offer debt consolidation loans?

The VA offers a Military Debt Consolidation loan that can be used to consolidate debt balances or pay off certain debts. However, if you cannot afford to pay back what you owe, debt settlement might be a better option for you.

Does the VA help with credit card debt?

When it comes to your credit card debt, the best way to negotiate your settlement is to work with a reputable debt settlement company. These companies can leverage their experience working with creditors to negotiate on your behalf. 

What’s the smartest way to consolidate debt?

The best way to tackle your debt is to consult with a certified debt expert who can help you determine the best solution for your situation. Reputable companies will provide free evaluations so you can determine if it’s a good fit before committing to anything or making a payment.

How do I get my VA debt forgiven?

Getting your VA debt forgiven is possible, but you need to know what the debt forgiveness policy is before pursuing this option. The debt forgiveness policy for the VA does not apply to debt that’s incurred after a veteran leaves active service. 

The process of debt settlement involves forgiving a portion of your debt. If you’re looking to reduce what you’re required to pay back, we recommend exploring this option. Reputable debt settlement companies could help reduce what you’re required to pay back by up to half, or more.