The federal government sponsored Military OneSource will provide active duty, Guard, and Reserve members free financial counseling and advice. The number of services offered is wide ranging and it includes basic budgeting and money management, debt consolidation, and assistance with all housing and mortgage issues. Hundreds of non-profit organizations work with the federal government and also the National Foundation for Credit Counseling in an effort to provide this service to military members and their families who are trying to improve their financial condition.
Workshops and individual sessions are available nationwide, at no cost, to active duty military members. Even those in the National Guard and Reserves (regardless of their activation status) can benefit from the programs. In addition, their spouses and immediate family members can also participate. While the exact terms, conditions and amount of assistance provided may vary and change over time, in general up to twelve credit counseling sessions are offered per year to qualified clients.
When you sign up and are found to be eligible, clients can receive access to money management, free foreclosure prevention, and debt consolidation plans. Details on what is offered is as follows. This can include, but is not limited to, coaching to help people contact their creditors. Learn how to negotiate late fees, interest rates, and get assistance with entering into affordable payment plans on your unpaid bills and debts. Many organizations will sign up members into a low cost or maybe even free debt-management plan. Or sign up for government sponsored home loan modification programs.
All programs and resources offered as part of Military OneSource are focused on finding solutions. The main goal of this short-term counseling is to help families and individuals change and adapt to their personal financial situation. Get help with finding and implementing solutions rather than dwelling on problems.
The counseling provided assists consumers with identifying the challenges they are facing. You will be able to work with a credit or housing counselor in an effort to find and identify realistic resolutions. Whether it is a negotiated payment plan, consolidation, or some other solution, all options will be explored. The goal is to provide the most effective counseling in the most efficient way. Efficiency is important as the government wants to help remove the stress that members of our Armed Services may be facing so that service members and their families can focus on the mission at hand and live their lives.
For military members who already have been saving money or who are on the path to financial stability, you can still sign up. You can receive free planning and advice, including telephonic counseling with Certified Financial Planners. Get help with reviewing savings plans, any type of existing investing plans you have, stock and bond portfolios, and even obtain free retirement advice as part of this process. Financial planners from your local non-profit can help inform you about the pros and cons of different savings plans and methods. The counselors also focus on the college education and saving plans for dependent children. Once again, they will not sell you products for any of these services both rather just give information.
Clients can receive counseling either in person or over the phone. A big benefit of the program is that in-person and face to face financial counseling is now available in most states through the Military OneSource program. This is possible due to the partnership with the agencies that are part of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. There are hundreds of offices and non-profit organizations across the nation that are part of NFCC, so the chances are that a center will be near you. Clients will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with a financial consultant/credit counselor in your local community.
If you are based oversees then phone consultations will be provided. This type of financial counseling is provided by a dedicated financial management team that is located within the federal government call centers that are located back in the states. This team is still made up of highly qualified AFC Certified Financial Counselors so the quality of the service provided will not be impacted.
As part of this process, the credit counselors and their companies they work with will not push their own products or personal agendas. The government as well as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling do not allow this to occur. OneSource is part of a national, nonprofit organization that does not sell or promote products.
To learn more about Military OneSource or to sign up for free counseling on these, or other financial matters, call 800-342-9647.
Low income households with children often struggle to buy their children the school supplies they need or Christmas gifts for the holidays. It can be challenging to add this expense to other seasonal bills that families may already be faced with paying, such as escalating heating costs or additional food. Many charity and non-profit organizations want kids to experience holiday joy, so they provide free Christmas money.
In addition to those resources, families can turn to the regional holiday meal and localized free toy programs. There will tend to be assistance given to children, infants, and teenagers from low income households or whose parents are in a financial crisis. Applicants can be given free Christmas gifts, presents, food, and more. More free Christmas assistance.
Education is also very important to households as it can help them gain financial stability. Low income households, including families headed by a single parent, often struggle to buy their children the school supplies or clothing they need for the upcoming year. Adding this extra expense to their other ongoing monthly bills can be difficult.
Students need to have the items they need, whether it is a uniform, clothing, books, or other goods. There are programs run by churches or charities that offer free school supplies to low to moderate income families that may not otherwise be able to afford them for their children.
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