This may be my least favorite time of year – the holiday season high has burned off, you can’t turn on the TV without seeing a commercial reminding you that tax season has started, and football is almost over until the Fall. Minor complaints, right? I agree. But, for some people, this time of year is hard. Money is tight and a lot of the giving that was so prevalent in the past few months tends to fall off. The need, however, continues on. Therefore, I decided to spend this week covering some resources that are available if you find that money is a little scarce or if you just want some advice on how to make the digits on your credit card bill shrink a little faster.
Today, I’m going to start with the latter. I was introduced to this CredAbilityU through the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) organization. It is an online resource designed to help Post-9/11 veterans and their families get on the right track financially. Though, from what I can tell, it isn’t limited only to those who served after 9/11.
Once you create an account (which requires an e-mail, your name, city and state), you have several areas you can explore, including short modules on finance related topics such as “Managing your Debt” and “Reshaping Credit.” Each of these modules consists of a short pre-test (like two questions), two to three activities on the topic, and then a little post test. As you complete each category, you earn a “badge.” I tried out a couple of the modules and found them to be easy to follow and the information covered to be pretty basic, primarily geared towards individuals with little to no background in debt mitigation and credit building and management.
The part of the site I found the most useful was the activity sheets under the “Resources” section. These sheets are fairly simple but are nice templates to have and cover everything from a “Post-bankruptcy Checklist” to a “Sample Letter to Creditors,” which could be used should you face a sudden illness or loss of employment.
There are a few other categories, such a YouTube channel, and a link for live classes you can go to. However, some of these areas haven’t been updated recently. For example, the last post on the YouTube channel was a year ago and the last live class date posted was in December of this past year. You also have the option to connect via phone with a counselor, but I didn’t try out this feature so I’m not sure if it works.
Overall, perhaps not the most useful site out there for veterans looking for financial assistance but it does have some merit. To see whether there is anything useful for you out there, go to http://www.credabilityu.org/login/signup.php
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