10 Financial Tips for Preparing for Deployment


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Research Your Rights
U.S. President George W. Bush delivers a brief statement June 30, 2008, after signing the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008.
U.S. President George W. Bush delivers a brief statement June 30, 2008, after signing the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008.
Joyce N. Boghosian, United States Army

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is an important piece of legislation with which all service members should familiarize themselves. The law provides extensive financial protection to people deployed in the United States military.

Under the law, deployed service members and their families receive eviction protection on any home lease amounting to $2,932.31 per month [source: Military.com]. In addition, service members deployed for 90 days or longer can elect to terminate a housing lease without penalty.

Protection also extends to credit. The SCRA limits all interest on credit issued before the service member was deployed to 6 percent. Any interest above 6 percent that the service member would normally accrue is forgiven.

There are other laws and protections in place to help military personnel protect their finances. Soldiers deployed to designated combat zones are eligible for the Combat Zone Tax Exclusion. All earnings for that month are exempt from taxation. It doesn't matter how much time the soldier spent in the combat zone -- as long as their official duties brought them into the designated areas, all earnings for that month are exempt.

Before deployment, do your homework. It'll pay off in the long run.

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Sources

  • Air Force Federal Credit Union. "Deployment Tips." (Feb. 12, 2010) http://www.airforcefcu.com/deployment.htm
  • Force Health. "Pre-Deployment Tips." Jan. 8, 2010. (Feb. 10, 2010) http://fhpr.osd.mil/preDeployment.jsp#financial
  • Military4Life.com. "Deployment OIF/OEF Military Pay Entitlements." (Feb. 11, 2010) http://www.military4life.com/militarypay/
  • Military.com. "Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Overview." (Feb. 10, 2010) http://www.military.com/benefits/legal-matters/scra/overview
  • Military.com "Traumatic Injury Protection." (Feb. 12, 2010) http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits/traumatic-injury-protection
  • Military Officers Association of America. "Financial Tips for Deployment." (Feb. 11, 2010) http://www.moaa.org/usergroup/usergroup_fam/usergroup_fam_spouse/usergroup_fam_spouse_financial/usergroup_fam_spouse_financial_deploytips/default.htm
  • Russell Country Federal Credit Union. "Financial Preparations for Deployment." (Feb. 12, 2010) http://www.russellcountryfcu.org/information/articles/financial_preparations_deployment
  • Travis Credit Union. "Military Resources." 2010. (Feb. 12, 2010) https://www.traviscu.org/learnpro.aspx?id=228
  • United States Department of Veteran Affairs. "Servicemembers' & Veterans' Group Life Insurance." (Feb. 12, 2010) http://www.insurance.va.gov/sgliSite/default.htm
  • USAA. "Plan Smart: Preparing Your Will." (Feb. 11, 2010) https://www.usaa.com/inet/ent_utils/McStaticPages?key=advice_deployment_preparing_a_will_01
  • USAA. "Prepare Your Finances for Deployment." Jan. 15, 2009. (Feb. 12, 2010) https://www.usaa.com/inet/ent_utils/McStaticPages?key=2005_08_Deployment_finances_01&offerName=prepare_finances_deployment
  • Von Der Bruegge, Karen. "A pre-deployment checklist for military families." Military Connection. (Feb. 11, 2010) http://www.militaryconnection.com/spouses/a-pre-deployment-checklist-for-military-families.html

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