The Financial Readiness Program offers information, education and counseling to enhance your abilities to manage money and invest in your future.
The FRP as your resource for information on money matters can help you better understand financial topics like:
- Military pay
- Checkbook/debit card management
- Financial responsibility
- Credit reporting
- Debt elimination strategies
We can also help you learn about other financial services, including:
- Army Emergency Relief (AER): A private, nonprofit organization established to help Soldiers and their Families in emergency financial situations due to no fault of their own.
- Education Program: Offers need-based scholarships to help eligible Army Families with education costs.
Credit Reports and Understanding Credit
- More than 25% of credit reports have serious errors. These errors will impact your ability to take out a loan or significantly increase the interest rate you pay, restrict employment opportunities, affect your security clearance, determine how much security deposit is required for utilities, rent etc. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the three major consumer reporting companies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. You can access your free reports through the following website Annual Credit Report (recently accessible to Europe). If you prefer to mail in your request complete the Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
- To see how your credit report and credit score relate, plus how to interpret your score, read the Credit Report Guide. Once you receive your report, you can download the following Credit Report Code Guide to understand what each codes means that is reflected on your report.
- How would you like to see exactly how much interest you are paying to your creditors and have get a plan to get out of debt? University of Utah developed PowerPay. Take a minute to establish an account.
- Money does matter! Living paycheck to paycheck leaves little breathing room. Budget your money and you'll see where you can cut back and begin building emergency funds. Run this spreadsheet in MS Excel and fill out the grey areas to see if you have a surplus or a deficit.
Where Are You Financially?
- Analyzing your spending habits will allow you to see where your money is going, enable you to institute changes, and prevent you from making a financial commitment before you are ready. No matter what your results are, financial counseling is FREE at the ACS Center and can assist you in finding solutions that will benefit you, your family, and your career. Financial Assessment Tool.
Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA) Pre-screening
Pre-screening and counseling for Soldiers who qualify for the FSSA entitlement. FSSA is an entitlement authorized by Congress in 2001 and created to supplement the Soldier's Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). This entitlement will not exceed $1100 per month. Information and application for FSSA is web-based and can be found under the "Life Events that Impact Your Benefits" tab.
Helpful financial readiness links include:
- Thrift Savings Plan: A Federal Government-sponsored long-term retirement savings and investment plan, available for both Federal civilian employees and members of the uniformed services.
- U.S. Savings Bonds: A shorter-term savings option with competitive interest rates and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.
- Military Saves: A component of the nonprofit America Saves and a partner in the Department of Defense’s Financial Readiness Campaign, Military Saves seeks to motivate, support, and encourage military Families to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth.
- Money Matters: A mobile-optimized resource with calculators for savings, debt reduction and other reference material in one location.
- Housing Resources for Military Members: The National Military Family Association has compiled a great list of resources to help Military Families who are struggling with the pitfalls of the housing crisis.
- Army OneSource: Network of the services and delivery of support to Soldiers and their Families.
- Military OneSource: A Department of Defense-funded program that provides comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, reserve members, and their Families.
- Office of Servicemember Affairs: A component of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau helps to educate and empower military members, veterans, and their Families in the consumer financial marketplace.
- Saveandinvest.org: A project of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, a free, unbiased resource dedicated to your financial health. Helps you make informed decisions through easy-to-use tools and resources, and arms you with the information you need to protect yourself from investment fraud.
- Better Business Bureau Military Line: Provides specialized education and support services, which meet the needs of active and retired military personnel and their Families.
Steps to Improve Your Credit
Army Leave and Earning Statement
- What's your Risk Tolerance?
- How to Start TSP (TSP 123)
- Saving and Investing
- TSP Money In Brief
- TSP Money Out Brief