When military members are facing deployment for the first time, they likely have a lot to think about, but one aspect of their lives that many may not consider is the quality of their credit and finances. However, doing so can be of the utmost importance not only for family members while they're away, but also themselves when they eventually return.
Taking the time to make sure all aspects of credit and household finances are ready for when a military member deploys can be key because it sets up as much as a few years worth of decisions related to his or her money, even when the person isn't around to spend or control it. There are a few important things that people trying to accomplish comprehensive credit repair — whether they're in the military or not — can do. But servicemembers specifically also have the option of putting a lock on their credit before they deploy, and after some efforts to fix credit, this might be a good option for some to keep in mind so that no one can open new accounts in their names while they're overseas.
Basic credit repair tips
Those who want to build their credit to the point where it's considered to be among the highest scores available will likely need to change much of their finances to fix their credit, but it is extremely rewarding for those who stick it out. People with good credit get access to the best and most affordable account terms available from lenders, usually regardless of the type of financing they're seeking. Whether it's a credit card, mortgage, or auto loan, those with strong standings can count on a far higher chance of approval, and more affordable rates and fees, than they might have received when their scores were still somewhat diminished.
The quickest and easiest way to rebuild credit is to make sure any late payments made in the last several months are isolated incidents. Payment history accounts for 35 percent of a person's overall standing, and credit scoring companies will view a deadline missed by a single day to be just as bad as one missed by an entire month. For those who have made missteps in getting their payments in on time and in full once or twice in the last year, the way to make up for those mistakes is easy, but will take a period of several months, as well as possibly seeking the help of a credit repair law firm.
Another thing those trying to get their credit back on track can do is simply start paying down their balances with greater fervor. The amount of money a person is borrowing versus the total credit limits allowed across all his or her accounts makes up another 30 percent of a score, and thus it's vital to get more sizable outstanding balances reined in as much as possible. In general, it's recommended that those who want to max out this portion of their scores should reduce their debts to about 30 percent of their limits, which shows lenders that borrowers have a little bit of financial flexibility, are avoiding overspending beyond their means, and aren't bearing too much of a burden.
How budgeting helps
Those who also take the time to set up household budgets before they go, based on how much they bring in every month, will likely also see benefits because it will allow their families back home to avoid running into financial difficulties in most cases. It's as simple as having a plan in place and executing it, never spending more than is absolutely necessary and therefore avoiding the potential for missed payments, more debt, and financial stress that can plague many families, military or not, every year. That way, when a servicemember is overseas, he or she doesn't have the stress of worrying that the family back home is having financial trouble.
Finally, military members should try to take the time to order copies of their credit reports and check them over closely to determine whether there are any unfair markings listed in their names. If these kinds of entries are discovered on the documents, it can be helpful to contact a credit repair law firm. This type of law firm may be able to help correct the issues and return servicemembers' credit standing to where it deserves to be before they have to deploy.