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Debt Consolidation Facts

1. If you spend more than 50% of your credit limit every month, this indicates to the Credit Bureau that you do NOT have enough cash on hand to meet your monthly expenses. This will identify you as a high credit risk and will actually reduce your credit score by 60 - 70 points overnight (Fair Isaac).

2. If you miss 1 or 2 payments on your credit card debt, the issuing company will skyrocket your interest rate to a whopping 27% - 30%!

3. Out of a random sample of 3 million American consumers (included in Experian's National Score Index), 51% of them have at least 2 credit cards and 14% of them have 10 or more credit cards.

What is the Military Star credit card?

Military StarThe Military Star credit card is a retail credit card. A retail credit card is a card that can be used only at one particular store or chain of stores. In this case that means that the Military Star card can be used at any military Exchange facility, Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine, or Coast Guard. It can also be used for online or catalog shopping for the exchange system. The Military Star card is comparable to a Wal-Mart or Target card (not the bank cards that carry that name). There is also a Military Star MasterCard offered by Chase Bank. That card can be used like any other bank card. The interest rate is the same as the Military Star card.

What are the interest rates on the Military Star card?

The Military Star card has only one standard interest rate, 4.99 percent above prime. It does not use a tiered system with variable rates dependent upon your credit score as most other retail cards do. One nice feature is the reduction of the interest rate to 6 percent if a service member is deployed. You do have to fill out the paperwork to show you have been deployed. The interest rate is higher than some bank cards but slightly lower than most retail store cards.

Can the balance on the Military Star card be applied to a debt consolidation?

Video: Credit Programs for Military and Veterans

The balance on the retail card, the original Military Star card, may be able to be applied to a debt consolidation loan. You’ll need to speak with a debt consolidator to determine the specifics of your situation. You will not be able to transfer balances to the card form other cards. It is a retail card, and can only be used for purchases from the military exchange system. The new (first offered in mid 2008) Military Star MasterCard can be used like any other Chase Bank MasterCard, and could, therefore, be used for debt consolidation purposes.

How can credit card debt affect a military member’s finances?

Even though the military has a different lifestyle than most civilians, its members are subject to the same pressures as the rest of society. If a Marine runs up excessive credit card debt and his creditors sue and get a judgment for unpaid balances, paying that judgment through garnishments or execution could well reduce the Marine’s available income to the point that she cannot pay the mortgage and loses her home.

What can you do to prevent these results?

A military member also has he same options as the rest of us. Debt consolidation can help the member get a handle on his or her debt. Debt can be consolidated through negotiation and settlement, or through debt consolidation loans. Military members entitled to Judge Advocate legal assistance may be able to obtain assistance in negotiating with creditors to obtain a reduction in the amount owed.

Video: What is Judge Advocate Legal Assistance?

In seeking and obtaining a debt consolidation loan the stability of your military income can be very helpful. This is particularly true when the economy is bad and civilian employment significantly insecure, as it is today.

Here are some websites where military personnel can get discounts, free stuff, or government assistance:

USMC Hangout

From The Inside - Military Free Stuff

Disney Military Discounts

Military Spot

Best Western

GM Military Discounts

Military Travel Store

Military Travel Discounts

Military Deals, Discounts & Coupons (Monster)

Military Discounts (Army.com)

Military and Veteran Information (USA.gov)

All Business (A D&B Company)

Adams County, Colorado Military Family Assistance

Legal Research for Military Personnel (NC)

AILA Military Assistance Program