Being a veteran isn’t always easy. Veteran’s often have problems that other people don’t need to deal with, from personal to health to financial. That’s why it’s so important for veterans to take advantage of the benefits that are available to them.
Both the government and private companies offer discounts and other benefits to active duty, soon to be discharged, and veterans alike, but unfortunately, they often go unnoticed. This is particularly true of the financial benefits. If you’re a veteran, here are 5 financial benefits you may be missing out on.
#1 – VA Home Loans
One of the best benefits available is to get a loan through the VA Home Loans program. With this program, veterans are able to secure a loan through a private company at a significant discount. When you get a loan through this program, there are no down payments required, and no mortgage insurance, because the loans are partially guaranteed through the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
On top of that, you will often get a lower interest rate compared to non-veterans. In fact, over the past several years, VA loans have on average the lowest interest rate. With this program, you and your family can be one step closer to owning that home you’ve always wanted, at a cheaper cost. To learn more about this program, you can visit this link.
#2 – Banking and Credit
Besides home loans, there are also benefits when it comes to banking and getting credit. For example, there are several banks and credit unions that will offer a discount on things like interest rates and banking fees, or provide you with a higher rate on your savings accounts.
A great place to start is by scanning the credit unions that are available to active duty or retired military members. Many of these places will offer great credit cards that come with no late charges, no balance transfer fees, and no annual fees. They also have great rewards programs, which you can apply to future purchases.
#3 – Army and Airforce Exchange Service
As of recently, all honorably discharged service members can now shop tax-free at ShopMyExchange.com. This website is the official website of the Army and Airforce Exchange Service.
This service, dating back over 100 years, operates as the retailer for the armed services. Through it you can purchase things like clothing and home goods, all tax-free. It’s a great way to save on things you need for your home, and there is a wide selection available to you. In many cases you can get items that are twenty to thirty percent off the department store price.
#4 – Other Discounts
A place doesn’t have to be operated directly by the federal government in order to offer a discount. In fact, many companies, stores and brands will offer a discount to veterans and active duty service members. For instance, let’s say you’re currently dealing with a broken down car. Rather than searching for “value of car with blown engine” and getting what you can for it, you can instead save money through incentive programs offered by car companies. Ford, as one example, offers a $500 bonus. This one simple program is now saving you not only money, but time and effort as well.
While many companies and stores offer a military discount, it is often not advertised. While it may feel a little uncomfortable, it doesn’t hurt to ask if the place you’re shopping at offers a military discount. You’d be surprised at how many do, and how much money you can save over the long run.
#5 – Long Term Care
Finally, there are some great benefits to veterans who are in their later years. The VA has an Aid and Assistance program that helps out elderly veterans and widows, helping to provide them with assisted living or nursing home care. While you may not need this service now, it’s good to know that your country will continue to assist you financially no matter how many years it’s been since you’ve served.
Start Taking Advantage of the Benefits
As you can see, there are a wide range of financial benefits available to veterans. The problem is, too many veterans don’t know the exist. Hopefully the above list was able to shed some light on them, and if you’re a veteran, you’ll start using them right away. The more often you use them, the more money you can save in the long run, so start looking into the programs above as soon as you can.