On this Veteran's day we look back and know there are hundreds of thousands military members that are retired and active duty who have placed their lives on the line for our country as well as others. We know of the battles they have fought overseas, but many don't realize the financial battle many face here in the states. Thankfully today, MSN Money along with "MoneyTrack" is launching a three part webisode to teach those in our military something that many don't understand: how to watch for scams, learn about borrowing money in a financially healthy way and how to stay debt-free.
Military members and retirees, paid typically on the 1st and 15th of each month, are dealing with increased pricing of products and no pay raises, increasing family sizes and unscrupulous business practices. In military towns such as Killeen, Texas where the Army base Fort Hood is located, simply driving down the main streets show the extent of how this town has turned against the military not because service members are rich, but simply because they have a steady income and tend to have the same cash flow issues month after month. Cash advance shops advertising specifically towards military unable to make it from one payday to the next, pawn shops stating they'll offer the highest price possible for those in the service and "easy loans here" signs are easy to spot in this town. Offering quick cash with extraordinary high interest rates allow these military members and retirees to feed their families but stay in debt for possibly years to come.
"In today's military, financial troubles have become an issue of national security because they can keep service men or women from being deployed overseas," said Pam Krueger, the creator, co-host and executive producer of "MoneyTrack." "It's crucial that members of the military get the information they need to avoid financial scams specifically targeting them."
Not only can these type of borrowing practices lead to becoming undeployable, but it can also lead to active duty members missing out on their next rank causing them to stay at their current pay and position in the military.
"We are thrilled to have another opportunity to expand our relationship with 'MoneyTrack' and offer this new series to our MSN Money users," said Chris Jolley, group manager of the Financial Products Group at Microsoft. "These segments help arm those in the military with the knowledge they need to avoid becoming victims of financial fraud."
Currently the military doesn't offer much help in terms of teaching its members how to protect their financial interest against predators who simply are interested in making a quick buck and by the time the classes they do offer make their way out to the public, it's already too late for some military families. One of the wonderful aspects of these short webisodes is that they are available online and therefore available anywhere that one can use an Internet connection. There isn't a need to sign up for a class and wait until there is an opening, and there isn't a need to wait until a military payday to pay for a class. Through MSN and "MoneyTrack", military members, retirees and their families have the chance to learn what they risk when they fall victim to money scams and fraud and can educate themselves, on their own time, on how to avoid letting it happen.