Military Life

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Deployment/TDY

MFed Military Credit Union has been meeting military members’ needs for decades, and we’re ready to help you and your family with your finances before, during, and after deployment.

Finances

Need a new checking account? Look no further. With an MFed checking account you can enjoy money-saving benefits like:

  • Rewards you choose yourself
  • No monthly service fee
  • Refunds on ATM fees nationwide (up to $20 monthly)
  • Direct deposit that posts 1 day early
  • No per check fees

Legal Matters 

Contact the base legal office with questions about access to your account while you’re gone and the disposition of your assets should the unexpected happen. The legal office can also assist you with:

  • Joint Accounts: Designate your spouse or a close relative as the joint owner of your MFed account to ensure that someone else has access to your funds if they need to pay bills on your behalf
  • Power of Attorney: If you want someone to conduct business on your MFed account, provide them with a Power of Attorney to act on your behalf for a certain time period; if you’ve already designated a Power of Attorney, please review it for accuracy and expiration
  • Will: If anything happens to you, a will ensures your property and accounts will be distributed according to your wishes
    • Consider a living will, too, stating your wishes on what medical care you’ll want if you can’t speak for yourself
    • Update beneficiaries on all policies

Insurance Concerns

  • Review your coverage: Consider Debt Protection on your loans to cover you and our family if the unexpected occurs; supplement your military life insurance and death gratuity benefit with other life insurance
  • Rethink your auto insurance: If your vehicle will be stored, comprehensive insurance is required on cars financed with MFed — provide us with a copy of your insurance policy
    • You can also call us for details on necessary coverage

Additional Tips to Consider before Deployment

  • Never sign blank checks
  • Set up automatic payments to creditors with periodic payment
  • Place an active duty alert in your credit file

Once You Return from Deployment

  • Update your personal information: Inform us of changes you need to make to your accounts; revoke any Power of Attorney
  • Check your accounts and financial information to be sure everything is in order when you return
  • Request a free copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com to ensure your identity hasn’t been compromised; meet with the person who handled your finances so you know exactly your situation

Resources

DOD Deployment Guide

Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

Deployment Support for Spouses at military.com/spouse/ and spousebuzz.com

Transfer/PCS

MFed Military Credit Union has served military families for decades, so we understand the issues of a PCS move. We can help with your finances during your move and throughout your life regardless of where you live.

Moving Your Finances

No need! You can remain a member of MFed no matter where your military career takes you, as well as after your service has ended. It’s easy, too, because with our digital services, you can enjoy all the benefits of membership even if there’s no branch nearby. Here is a list of items to keep in mind before you make that transition. 

  • Change your address: Before you move, contact us with your new address so that important account information arrives without interruption, and so that we can contact you about any suspected fraudulent activity or other emergencies
  • Keep your MFed checking account: Wherever you go, it provides day-to-day convenience, and:
    • FREE 24-hour access to account information
    • FREE Online Bill Pay
    • MasterCard® Debit Card
    • No per check fees
    • Direct Deposit available up to one day early
  • Need a loan? Contact us 24/7 at 1-800-640-1228 or apply online

Moving Overseas

A move overseas requires more preparation than a domestic move, including updating your will, shipping privately owned vehicles, getting a safe deposit box. You should also consider the following when making your move:

  • Forwarding your mail: File a change of address form with your post office and see if your new unit has a general delivery address to which you can forward mail, or an APO or FPO box number.
  • Arranging power of attorney: If you need a spouse or other relative to manage some details of your move, arrange to give them power of attorney to act on your behalf — your legal office can help with this
  • Breaking your lease: Tell your landlord right away about your move; a clause in your lease may allow you to break it under such circumstances, although 30 days written notice may be required
  • Buying a new home: Order your free credit report through annualcreditreport.com and review it for errors
  • Reviewing your insurance: Make sure your family is protected and on the right financial path — we offer affordable insurance (life, AD&D, auto, property, and health)

Wherever your military service takes you, bring along your MFed membership. We’re ready to serve you wherever you go. 

Separating from the Military

For an easier transition, take your membership with you wherever you live or work because we have products and services to last a lifetime — within the military or out. Maintain your MFed accounts during a transition, it’s best to stay with a trusted partner. Our financial services will meet your needs no matter where you live or travel. 

Financial Considerations

Separation pay. The type of separation and conditions under which you leave determine whether you qualify for separation pay. Consider using that money to:

  • Start or add to an emergency savings account
  • Pay off high interest debt
  • Begin or increase deposits to a systematic investment plan
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): If you have assets in a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), IRA, and employer-sponsored 401(k) or 403(b) plans, consider consolidating them with MFed for greater control and easier access

Starting Your Civilian Career

Before you separate and begin your career search, attend a transition workshop at your current duty station to learn about resume preparation, job counseling, interviewing, relocation, and veteran’s benefits. Check with your local Family Readiness Center or Military Community Service Center for information. 

Tips for your job search

  • Network to learn about job opportunities
  • Search the Internet for employment prospects
  • Visit college career centers and libraries
  • Consider employment agencies and executive recruiters
  • Attend job fairs sponsored by your installation
  • Join military/veteran/professional organizations specific to your career
  • Consider working for a company/organization that provides services to the military community — your military knowledge and experience could get you an interview

Other employment choices

  • The National Guard and Reserve
  • Federal employment
    • Complete an SF 171 or OF 612 application
    • For information on job opportunities and benefits, contact your local Civilian Personnel Office
  • Be your own boss — we assist with SBA guaranteed loans to help you start, grow, or manage a business

Financing Higher Education

You may qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill or other financial aid. Contact your installation’s Education Office, local Department of Veterans Affairs, or www.gibill.va.gov for GI Bill information.

You can also check your state’s financial aid policies: contact college/university financial aid offices or the nearest VA office, or talk to a college counselor to see if you can substitute military training for college credit.
Moving to a New Location

Your Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) office can help with your final military move with needs assessment, information on communities worldwide, developing a relocation plan, and workshops for relocation stress. You can transition more smoothly if you take advantage of available resources—RAP, libraries, bookstores, the Internet and chamber of commerce offices. 

Buying a Car

New and used auto loans for veterans. Finance your vehicle with our great fixed–rate loans. Borrow up to 100% of the purchase price on a new can, van, or truck, or up to 100% of the NADA retail value on a used vehicle. Apply today.

Retiring from Active Duty

MFed Credit Union offers a variety of services to make your transition to civilian life easier. Once a member of MFed, you can stay a member for life, even after you leave the service. With our remote-access services, you can enjoy the benefits of membership even if there’s no branch nearby, no matter where you ever live or work. 

Take advantage of the following products and services to help manage and grow your money.

  • Savings account: Set aside three to six months worth of living expenses in a readily accessible account to avoid using a credit card or raiding investments when you need cash for emergencies like illness or unemployment; we offer a variety of savings products for this purpose
  • Worldwide ATMs and Shared Branches
    • Use your MFed MasterCard® Debit Card ATM card at MFed ATMs or at any CO-OP ATM Network, bringing you over 50,000 surcharge-free ATMs and over 5,500 machines at 7-Eleven stores nationwide
    • You can also make deposits, withdrawals, balance inquiries, and more at over 6,400 Shared Branches, a network of credit unions that share their branches for other members to use

Retirement may also mean adjustments in your income. The military offers three retirement pay plans, based on when you entered active duty. It’s important to understand which plan you qualify for because it can affect your quality of life for years. The Defense Department’s website, Military Compensation, can help you determine your retirement pay.  

Knowing how your benefits change after retirement is also critical for a smooth transition to civilian life. Consider these four areas:

  • Service Members’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) 
  • Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) 
  • Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) 
  • TRICARE 

Budgeting

Retiring from the military can reduce your quality of life if you’re ill prepared. Establish a new budget to help you adjust to your new lifestyle. After assessing day-to-day spending, create a plan to meet other financial goals, such as your second retirement and college tuition for your children. 

Tips for Budgeting

Pay off credit cards, cut back unnecessary spending, and consolidate debts to reduce monthly expenses. Keep your finances aligned with your goals: review and adjust your budget every 3 months. 

Online Resources

We provide calculators to help you budget, as well as other interactive tools to give you a basic understanding of budgeting, buying a home, buying a car, and using credit wisely. 

When arranging your final PCS, visit the Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) office at your Family Support Center for:

  • Needs assessment for your final move 
  • Automated information on military communities worldwide 
  • Information on relocating to non-military communities, including websites with comparisons of cities’ cost-of-living
  • Assistance with formulating a relocation plan

Veteran Home Loans

With va home loans, put the equity in your home to work with a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). Borrow for vacation, a new addition, education, or bill consolidation at a rate that’s typically lower than other consumer loans. And, when you borrow against the equity in your home, the interest you pay may be 100% tax deductible. (Consult your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest) Learn about the benefits of a veteran business loan here.

Additional Resources

Financial Guide for Military families

National Military Family Association