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Veteran Services: Finance Questions

Finances

You're working, and you've got a family that depends on you - both now and down the road. Where do you invest your money? Do you borrow against the equity in your house? Through a preferred provider relationship with USAA, The American Legion can provide expert financial advice to just about any question.

Questions & Answers

Take advantage of advice provided by dedicated USAA certified financial planners

Debt - Education - Estate Planning - General - Investing
Real Estate - Retirement - Small Business - Taxes

Debt

Hello, I am seeking financial help with my outstanding debt on my credit card. I am disabled with many illnesses and even though my wife works, we are set back by many things that are keeping us from taking care of our debt. If you can be of any assistance, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much. -Donald

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We own our own home, and we are interested in a low interest loan to pay off some debts at a reasonable rate. Do you have any ideas? - Jack

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Found a cheaper credit card that we never had. Like to know if transferring balances from one card to another really helps or is it just a gimmick. – Carl

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Is it wise to open a home equity loan/line of credit to stabilize our finances? – Donald

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I have $11,922 in debts, pay $400 in rent and receive a monthly income from social security and military retirement of $2,100. Would I be financially overextended if I pay $806.80 monthly to pay off my debts with an interest rate of 15.9 percent? Would this put an end to my debt? – Robert

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I have about $10,000 in debt, and I’m looking for a way I can get a loan with a credit score of 555. I want to pay off my delinquent accounts and increase my credit score. Any suggestions? – Robert

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I am a member of American Legion Post 88 in Loudon, N.H., and I am on disability. We are on the edge of starving and being homeless because of overdue rent and utility bills. My wife works for the state of New Hampshire, but we do not have enough money to catch up on all our bills. Is there a place that will loan me money even though I know my credit score is low? – Myril

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Does USAA have a program for people to clean up their credit reports and raise their scores? – Ronald

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I have about $15,000 in credit card debt plus a car payment. Can I get a low percentage rate loan to pay everything off and start fresh? Also, I heard if you pay off your credit cards in a lump sum, you can sometimes get the total amount due substantially reduced. I would like more information about this. – David

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I plan to retire next March; the only way that is by paying off charge cards and auto loans using my 401(k), leaving me with $100,000. I will have a house payment of $1,960 and will get a $2,800 pension and $1,800 from Social Security. Should I? – Paul

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I’m in debt over $30,000 in credit cards. Who can help me get out of this debt fast? – Earl

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I have a first mortgage of $201,000 at 5.8 percent, a second of $81,000 at 2.49 percent, and six credit cards totaling $24,000. I’m looking into refinancing the first mortgage for 20 years at 4.37 percent for monthly savings of $203. – Steve

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Is there is any type of assistance to help with debt relief or filing for bankruptcy? We signed up with a company that was supposed to be a “debt consolidation” company; instead of paying the money to our creditors they pocketed our money. – Chad

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If I ask my credit card company to lower my line of credit, would this adversely affect my credit rating? – Lawrence

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We are currently upside down in our mortgage. We have a variable rate mortgage that is interest-only and cannot qualify for the federal refinance programs because we have never been late on our payments. What are our options? - Judith

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I just paid off my last two credit cards, but they’ve been closed for the past 12 months due to financial trou-bles in the past. What’s the best way to reopen my credit-card accounts? – Cecilio

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Filing for bankruptcy has made a huge difference in our finances. What is the best way to tackle a budget we can stick to so we never get this way again? And also, what can we do now to start correcting our credit? – Aaron

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I recently read that your credit card balance should not exceed 30 percent of the card’s limit. Mine is at 100 percent. How much impact will this have on our credit score, and how quickly would you recommend paying it down? – Browning

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I have approximately $30,000 in credit-card debt, with an average interest rate of 15 percent. I also have two tax-deferred IRAs worth approximately $250,000. My effective federal income rate is 11.6 percent. Should I take a distribution from my IRA to

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Do debt settlement and/or debt negotiation work as an alternative to bankruptcy? – Tom

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How would my credit be affected if I did a debt settlement? – Elijah

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Is it better to consolidate our debt on a credit card with an interest rate of 9.9 percent, or to take out a three-year loan at 12-percent interest? – Timothy

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