Pay Down Debt After Active Duty Life

Pay Down Debt After Active Duty Life

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Pay Down Debt After Active Duty Life

In June of 2014, my husband went from active duty Army to the National Guard. This was a big step for us. This meant that he would no longer be bringing home his paycheck on the 1st and 15th of the month. This meant that we would pay more for insurance and we would no longer receive BAH. This also meant finding a new job and taking a pay cut.

Getting out of the military is no easy task.

Finding a new career and a new purpose can take a lot of time. This is exactly how things have been for us. Trying different jobs and trying to figure out what works. This is all a process and I know things don’t happen overnight but being patient is difficult.

During the last few years, we have had to make some hard choices when it comes to spending our money. We want to eventually be out of debt and we want to be able to give our children a good childhood. The balance of that while trying to find a new job can be difficult.

One of the best ways to get out of debt is to know what your financial situation is. Knowing how much debt you have, how much each of the payments is and when they are due is important. Tracking your credit health will help you know where you are and how far you are from where you want to be financially.

We want to get out of debt so we can eventually make a move back to the West Coast to be closer to family. This will require a lot of work but I know we can eventually get there.

Using an app like Credit Karma® is going to help us get there. We can use this app to track how we are doing and follow-up on our debts and credit health.

Credit Karma has a few tools that make doing this pretty easy.

After setting up an account you should be able to see what is called your VantageScore 3.0. This is what you can track over time as your credit improves. Using this score you can see that you are improving.

Credit Karma is a great app for military families, no matter what stage of life you are in. I know this app will help us in our after Army/ Guard life and it can also help families as they go through other changes during their military careers.

Did you know that 20% of Active Duty families have over $10,000 of credit card debt? This means that so many would benefit from a tool that can help them track their debt and get back on track.

Here are some other features of Credit Karma that will help you track your financial health:

Credit Factors

In this section, you can check on how well you are doing with your credit card utilization. This is how much credit you are using vs how much credit you have access to. If your balances are too close to your limit, you are going to have a higher percentage. You can also track your payment history, any derogatory marks, age of accounts, total accounts and hard inquiries.

Credit Score Simulator

The credit score simulator is such a helpful tool. You can plug in different numbers to find out what your score would be when you have less debt. This is an encouraging tool to use as you work towards your goal.

Direct Dispute™ 

If you ever see anything wrong on your credit report you can use this tool to dispute the mistake.  This tool will notify a credit bureau of the errors. As many as 1 out of 4 credit reports can contain errors. If you are one of them you want to fix it as soon as possible.

Credit Karma will provide access to your credit reports from two major bureaus. They will update every week as well. This credit monitoring can help families catch fraud early as well as understand where they are financially at any time. And best of all, Credit Karma is free.

I plan to use Credit Karma to help track how we are doing as we work on our debt and work towards our future goals.

You know what can help with debt reduction? Winning a giveaway 🙂 I will be giving away a $50 Visa Gift Card to one of my readers. Just enter the giveaway below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, go check out the Credit Karma app and see how you can start tracking your own credit to get you to your financial goals.

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Tell me what you think!

67 thoughts on “Pay Down Debt After Active Duty Life”

  1. I would put it toward our summer “staycation” fund. We hope to do a few local trips the little ones will enjoy.

  2. If I won, I may well give it to a family in our church that is really struggling with unemployment and MAJOR health crises.

  3. I am actually trying to pay down a vet bill and a car repair bill. I put everything extra towards that goal.

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