Managing Debt & Credit

 

Establish a solid credit reputation by managing debt and building wealth

Military Saves’ mission is to promote the importance of savings and to encourage servicemembers and their families to take financial action by taking the pledge. Over the next eight weeks, we will be focused on motivating servicemembers to establish a solid credit reputation by managing debt and building wealth.

This resource packet contains a message to our partners, sample article, social media posts, and resources designed to help you communicate with your audience about the importance of establishing a solid credit reputation. We encourage you to use this material to position your organization “on the front lines” of the savings message, to encourage individuals to take the Military Saves pledge, and to help our servicemembers. Let’s continue to work together to get the “managing debt and building wealth” message out to our servicemembers. Thank you for all you do!

In this Packet:

Sample Article

Social Media Content

Relevant Resources


Sample Article

For use in communications that directly reach your constituents. We encourage you to use its contents as a guest post for your blog, newsletter, e-mail communications or any other publication. Feel free to rewrite it as your own.

Five Ways to Raise Your Credit Score in Less Than a Year

By Maddie Daniels, Digital Communications Manager, America Saves

Having a low credit score (a score below the mid-600s) can cost you big time. Unfortunately, many underestimate the true cost of a low credit score, according to a new survey by Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and VantageScore.

A low credit score, compared to a high credit score (700), typically increases the cost of a 60-month, $20,000 auto loan by more than $5,000. The costs are even higher for a mortgage. Learn more about the credit score details you should know that could save you money.

And a low credit score impacts more than just interest rates. Many non-creditors use credit scores to decide service availability, things like if they will rent an apartment to you or how high your security deposit will be.

The good news is we’re here to help. If you have a low credit score, take comfort in knowing that you can raise your score from sub-prime to prime in less than nine months, excluding foreclosure or bankruptcy. These five tips can help you raise your credit score:

1. Pay bills on time

It is critically important to your credit score to make all loan payments on time, in full, every month.

2. Use only a small portion of the credit available to you

VantageScore recommends keeping outstanding charges at or below 30 percent of your available credit limit. So avoid maxing out, or even coming close to maxing out, credit cards or other revolving credit accounts even if you are making all of your payments on time.

3. Reduce your debt

Pay down your debt, rather than move it around from one account to another.

4. Limit your number of new accounts

Avoid opening multiple new accounts within a short period of time. If possible, avoid opening new accounts altogether when you are working on raising your credit score.

5. Check your credit report

Check your credit report for free at least once a year. It will help you gain a better understanding current credit and debt situation before obtaining a loan, and will highlight opportunities to improve your credit score.

You can access these reports for free at annualcreditreport.com, or by calling 877-322-8228, and should always do so before seeking a mortgage or car loan.

Looking for more information? Be sure to test your credit score knowledge at CFA and VantageScore’s creditscorequiz.org and learn more about credit score basics and details.


 

Military Saves, managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), seeks to motivate, encourage, and support servicemembers and military families to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at militarysaves.org.

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Social Media Content

Share the following messages with your Facebook & Twitter followers.

#SavingsTipTuesday  

  • Avoid the urge to splurge and other tips here:  http://bit.ly/2cWVrWh @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday @FINRAFoundation  
  • What is going on “behind the scenes” with your #credit score? Find out here: http://ow.ly/RzAwN @MilitarySaves #SavingsTipTuesday
  • A good credit score can save you thousands.  http://bit.ly/2cdCVZ2 #SavingsTipTuesday @MilitarySaves 
  • Do you have too much #debt? Take this assessment to find out: http://ow.ly/RsAsq #SavingsTipTuesday @MilitarySaves   
  • Plan your shopping and other tips to help you use your credit wisely.  http://bit.ly/2cufSW5 #SavingsTipTuesday @MilitarySaves
  • Need help saving?  Get text tips when you take the @MilitarySaves pledge. http://bit.ly/29V67Ug #SavingsTipTuesday    
  • Make saving automatic.  http://bit.ly/2cb8LBh #SavingsTipTuesday @MilitarySaves 
  • 9 Tips to Help You Pay off High Interest Debt http://bit.ly/2cYnMN9 #SavingsTipTuesday @MilitarySaves 

#SavingsFactFriday

  • Payment history makes up 35% of your credit score & is the most important factor in building good credit. @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday 
  • #Financial freedom is living w/in your income-don't borrow more than you can repay. http://ow.ly/RzJEn @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
  • Only 20% of Americans know a low credit score increases their finance charges. http://bit.ly/2bQsoVr #SavingsFactFriday @MilitarySaves 
  • Your #creditscore will improve over time if you manage your #credit responsibly http://ow.ly/RzKGF @MilitarySaves #SavingsFactFriday
  • 45% of families with incomes under $50,000 rely on credit cards to pay for basic needs. #SavingsFactFriday @MilitarySaves  
  • Want to get out of debt?  Pledge to save with @MilitarySaves for motivation.  http://bit.ly/29V67Ug #SavingsFactFriday @MilitarySaves
  • Overcome your debt with a budget. http://bit.ly/2cICm9S #SavingsFactFriday @MilitarySaves
  • Paying debts on time is the largest factor in building good credit.  http://bit.ly/2chsgLR @MilitarySaves 

Additional Posts

  • Five financial tips to help you navigate your way out of debt.  http://bit.ly/2cWUopk @MilitarySaves @USAAEF  
  • Manage your #credit wisely! #Military receive a free #FICO #creditscore by taking the @MilitarySaves Pledge http://ow.ly/RssKU
  • #Debt will not go away if you continue adding to it. Learn how to stop borrowing & take control of your #money: http://ow.ly/RzAVU          
  • Manage credit and debt by paying debt on time.  http://bit.ly/2ccl5oa  @USAAEF @MilitarySaves
  • Get your credit and debt resources here: http://bit.ly/2c8dgBv @FINRAFoundation @MilitarySaves
  • Tip to stay out of debt: Avoid settlement/credit repair scams. More tips: http://ow.ly/nfgx2 via @FINRA @MilitarySaves  
  • Dispute errors to improve your credit score.  More tips: http://bit.ly/2cdbWxd @MilitarySaves 
  • The 5 pillars of credit. Number 1: Payment History.  Find out more: http://bit.ly/2crbsVA @MilitarySaves 

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Relevant Resources

Share the following tools and resources with your audience and with other organizations.

Military Saves Resources about Credit and Debt

Blogs: Managing Credit

Blogs: Managing Debt

Tools & Resources          

Partner Resource Packets

Want to share savings messages?

Our Partner Resources Packets include blog, social media, and other content.

View the latest

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Katie Bryan | November 22, 2013

    Find places to cut your #spending so that you can pay down #debt faster: http://ow.ly/fzT2h  

Saver Stories View all »

A Plan for Success

Written by Super User | April 26, 2012

I’m Staff Sergeant Robert Zuniga and I have been an active duty Air Force medic for eight years. I plan on staying in long enough so that I can retire at 20 years. I have always been interested in personal finance and would like to share how it IS possible for me and my stay-at-home wife and two kids to not only save and invest a ton of money but also have a lot of responsible fun as well on 'low' enlisted pay. You CAN do it too!

First off, we write down our goals and separate wants from needs.

Read more...

On the Right Track to Build Wealth

Written by Super User | April 16, 2013

My name is Robina Wahl, and I am a military wife and a veteran. Although I am fairly new to the Military Saves Campaign, the message to “Build Wealth, Not Debt” reassured me that my husband and I were on the right track and doing the right things.

I have always been pretty responsible when it comes to saving and living within my means, but I was not prepared for the unpredictable employment lifestyle of being a Reservist and military spouse.

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A Disciplined Approach to Saving

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

I just recently retired after 30 years of service with the Marine Corps. I truly enjoyed my time serving the Corps and I flourished in the disciplined environment. I also took a disciplined approach to saving. Here are some of the tactics I used-they are very low to moderate risk.

Read more...