Cornerstone Blog

Set Your Financial Journey

Resources to Support Active-Duty Soldiers, Military Families & Veterans

  • June 11,2024
  • Guest Author: Ray Springsteen, President & CEO
  • 3 minute read

As we prepare to proudly celebrate the U.S. Army’s 249th Birthday on June 14, 2024, it’s important to note all the local resources and support available for active-duty military members, military-connected families, and veterans. According to the Association of the United States Army, financial pressures, including spouse employment, remain among the top concerns for military families.

Fortunately, our community is full of resources to help these dedicated individuals and families find the financial support they need. Beyond the ongoing challenge of making monthly budgets stretch, military families have additional considerations as they navigate deployments and other transitions.

Here are a few of the tools available to help military families navigate financial pressures and ease stress.

Free Financial Education Resources

Free educational tools and resources abound to help both soldiers and civilians manage money more effectively. Find out if your local credit union or bank offers online financial education modules on topics of interest to you like how to build credit, buy a home, or save for retirement. You may also benefit from other free events designed specifically for veterans such as the annual Veterans 2 Entrepreneurs workshop, which provides mission critical information for veterans interested in starting their own small businesses.

Budget-Friendly Money Management Options

If you’re looking for ways to make life more affordable, taking time to compare your options can be a big help. Some local financial institutions offer worldwide ATM networks or even ATM fee rebates to help military members avoid fees for accessing their cash while overseas. Review your checking account statements to make sure you’re avoiding fees whenever possible, including monthly maintenance fees. If you have direct deposit, you may be able to access your paycheck up to two days early through early pay day programs. Ask your institution whether they offer immediate credit to your account as soon as your payroll file is received from the Federal Reserve. Some financial institutions also offer discounted loan rates if you have direct deposit there.

Savings Options to Prepare for the Unexpected

One of the best ways to avoid excessive debt is to build an emergency savings account. Most financial institutions offer automatic deposits, which let you choose a dollar amount from each check to go directly into your savings account. Paying yourself first in this manner makes saving a habit and could pay big dividends down the road when you find yourself in need of extra funds to pay for a car repair or other necessity. Bonus: Today’s higher interest rates mean you could earn more from your savings. Research your options, including certificates and money market accounts, to find the best fit for you.

Affordable Financing & Home Loan Benefits

If anyone is willing to lend you money just based on your active-duty status, you may want to think twice and look closely at the terms and conditions being offered. It’s easy to find yourself paying very high-interest rates on very easy to get credit. When you do need a loan for a car or other big purchase, start with your local bank or credit union and apply for pre-approved financing there. This will help you understand what rates and terms you qualify for and, thus, your monthly payment options. You may even be able to rebuild or establish credit with a share-secured loan, which is tied to your savings. For home loans, be sure to explore your options. According to, VA-direct and VA-backed veteran home loans may offer better terms than traditional loans. For example, nearly 90% of VA-backed loans are made with no down payment. Start by checking your eligibility with the VA and learning which programs may be available to you. A mortgage officer at your local financial institution may also be able to help answer your questions about the most affordable home loan options for your family.

Support for Military Families

USA Cares is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization based in Kentucky that has assisted thousands of veterans and military families facing hardships related to service. It provides emergency financial assistance and post-service skills training to create a foundation for long-term stability. Their services improve the quality of life for veterans and their families and reduce potential factors that can contribute to veteran suicide. Learn more about how you can support USA Cares’ mission to serve as a veteran and family support system by visiting

We couldn’t be prouder to serve our military community and hope these tools can help ease some of the financial pressures they face. Happy 249th Birthday to the U.S. Army!

Ray Springsteen, President & CEO

Abound Credit Union