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I’m an E-4 in the Navy and Broke. – Donek

“Dear Steve,

i am and E-4 in the USN. i have a credit card payment, car payment, and a personal loan from my bank all in all equaling about 500 a month. all this on top of my regular bills. all of this i can normally handle however with in the last 3 weeks we have been in 3 car accidents. this we cannot afford and even though i just got paid i am completely out of money due to the deductibles.

is there any way that i can reduce some of this debt and/or find something to help with these 3 insurance deductibles?

Donek”

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The Answer

Dear Donek,

Thanks for your service in the Navy.

Three car accidents? Either you are unlucky or something else has led to these accidents. What’s going on?

If you’ve done a good job with making your payments on time and just need a low interest loan you should look at LendingClub.com. If you decide to go with them let me know what your loan number is and I’ll help to fund it.

Normally LendingClub.com is a debt consolidation loan lender but it would work in your situation as well. You’ll need a credit score above 700 to get a better rate.

Alternatively you could try to get an interest free loan through the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. I’d actually try that first.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Big Hug!

Im an E 4 in the Navy and Broke.   Donek
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Robert Platt Bell

    The military provides a lot of services that you might want to look into. The military has been concerned about servicemen getting into debt – particularly high-interest debts, such as payday loans and car loans. They have been trying to take steps to ban payday loan places near the gates of the military bases. And they are trying to EDUCATE service members on how to manage money more effectively.

    I used to live near Quantico, and near the main gate were all these cheesy car dealers with used Camaros and Mustangs. They sold them to the young Marines, with a low down payment, and long monthly payments at onerous interest rates. These kids would sign their life away for a clapped-out pony car. They’d get a few tickets and end up broke. Pretty sad thing to do – and these car dealers are really exploiting the servicemen.

    The Navy Federal Credit Union is one of the best Credit Unions around. If you are looking for a debt consolidation loan or refinancing of your car, I would talk to them. But debt consolidation or refinancing doesn’t make debt go away – it just gives you breathing room.

    Ask about debt counseling services on your base as well. Like I said, the military is trying to help service members avoid these traps. It is hard to be deployed and have to worry about car payments. They want you out of debt, or at least to have manageable debts.

    (Most military bases also provide legal services for servicemen and women. A friend of mine got into a dispute with a landlord, and the legal services on the base straighten it out for them. Take advantage of all Uncle Sugar has to offer! You earned these benefits!)

    The main thing is, to figure out why you are spending so much money. It is a typical trap for young people (I did it myself) to buy a car and have to pay a lot of money for insurance. Get into a few accidents or tickets and your insurance can skyrocket to thousands of dollars a year (BTDT!). This is why, if you are under 30, it pays to have a “paid for” older car, as you don’t have to pay for expensive collision insurance.

    Do you have Cable TV? A smart Phone? Other regular “subscription” service type bills? I cut these things out of my life. $100 here and $100 there and it adds up – to thousands of dollars a year.

    I suspect when the insurance company gets wind of these accidents, you are going to have to make some life-changing decisions. If you are struggling with debts now, imagine what will happen when you get the cancellation (or non-renewal) notice from the insurance company, and learn what the “assigned risk pool” is all about.

    You may have to walk for a few years – seriously.

    I would start cutting the budget now, rather than wait for the inevitable. We all like to think we are richer than we really are. I know I did! It was painful to cut back on expenses – at first. But then I realized that it was like a game, and the reduced stress was well worth it.

    What held me back for so long? Worrying about what other people would think. People I didn’t know or care about. I was worried that someone might think I was “poor” or “foolish with money” (and I was both).

    I finally swallowed my pride and today I am debt-free.

    A great man once said, “Don’t worry about what others think of you, worry about what you think of yourself.”

    Sound advice. Form a plan for your life. When you leave the military, what will you get out of it? A nest -egg of savings, or will you be as broke as the day you went in? So many opt for the latter – and a used Mustang.

    Don’t fall into the trap!

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