- Financial Readiness Program-Fort Benning
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- Financial Readiness Program-Fort Benning
Financial Readiness Program-Fort Benning
The Financial Readiness Program offers counseling and training for Soldiers and their families and ensures emergency assistance is available when needed. The mission of FRP is to reduce indebtedness, minimize the need for emergency financial assistance, and prevent financial difficulties. Services include classes on money management, credit, financial planning, insurance, and consumer issues. We help Soldiers and Army Families live within their means and provide for a brighter financial future.
Under the new Blended Retirement System (BRS), it is more important than ever for Soldiers to understand and participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). If you have questions about BRS, or if you would like to explore your TSP investing options, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a Financial Counselor by calling (706) 545-4043. We will discuss your retirement savings goals and help you examine the various TSP funds, so you can select the option that is best for you.
About Financial Readiness
The Financial Readiness Program is your resource for information on money matters. We can help you better understand:
- Military pay
- Checkbook/debit card management
- Financial responsibility
- Credit reporting
- Debt elimination strategies
We can also help you learn about other financial services, including:
- Army Emergency Relief (AER): A private, nonprofit organization established to help Soldiers and their Families in emergency financial situations due to no fault of their own.
- Education Program: Offers need-based scholarships to help eligible Army Families with education costs.
For more information about FRP, contact Army Community Service.
Other helpful financial readiness links include:
- Thrift Savings Plan: A long-term retirement savings and investment plan, available for both Federal civilian employees and members of the uniformed services.
- U.S. Savings Bonds: A shorter-term savings option with competitive interest rates and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.
- Military Saves: A component of the nonprofit America Saves and a partner in the Department of Defense’s Financial Readiness Campaign, Military Saves seeks to motivate, support, and encourage military Families to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth.
- Money Matters: A mobile-optimized resource with calculators for savings, debt reduction and other reference material in one location.
- Housing Resources for Military Members: The National Military Family Association has compiled a great list of resources to help Military Families who are struggling with the pitfalls of the housing crisis.
- Army OneSource: Network of the services and delivery of support to Soldiers and their families.
- Military OneSource: A Department of Defense-funded program that provides comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to Soldiers and their families.
- Office of Servicemember Affairs: A component of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau helps to educate and empower military members, veterans, and their families in the consumer financial marketplace.
- Saveandinvest.org: A project of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, a free, unbiased resource dedicated to your financial health. Helps you make informed decisions through easy-to-use tools and resources, and arms you with the information you need to protect yourself from investment fraud.
- Better Business Bureau Military Line: Provides specialized education and support services, which meets the needs of active and retired military personnel and their families.
Consumer and Financial Education
Classes are offered on a variety of topics and may be taught at ACS, units or other locations. Classes are provided weekly: First Termers’ Personal Financial Readiness Training, required for E4 and below; Pre-Move Financial Planning, required for E4 and below but open to anyone interested: Spending Plan/Budget development and Bank Account Maintenance, every Monday at 8:15 a.m. Schedule a class for your unit, FRG or organization at least two weeks in advance.
Financial Counseling/Debt Liquidation
Individual assistance is available to improve financial situations for Soldiers and their families. Debt liquidation assistance may be available. Free financial counseling, contract review and budget development are available. When debt liquidation is necessary, we, or one of our partner organizations, will work with your creditors to reduce interest rates and payment amounts to develop an affordable repayment plan. The first step is to attend the Financial Counseling Intake, from 8:15 to 11 a.m. Mondays, except federal holidays, in Building 7. Once you have all necessary financial information, you will schedule an appointment with a counselor.
Army Emergency Relief
Provides no-interest loans and grants to assist with emergency situations. Also provides emergency food vouchers when AER assistance for food cannot be provided. Most AER assistance is provided as a no-interest loan. Traditional assistance is provided to active and retired Soldiers, dependent family members, widows and widowers. Under the Commanders Referral Program, the company commander or first sergeant may be the approving authority for assistance of up to $1,500 for active duty Soldiers (loan only; other requirements may apply). If you are not near an Army installation, you can go to any service’s relief society or to the local chapter of the American Red Cross. AER provides scholarships for spouses of active Soldiers and for dependent children of active, retired and deceased Soldiers. Scholarship applications are available at www.aerhq.org.
Home Schooling Assistance Program:
Army Emergency Relief is here to help! The AER Bulletin provides guidance to assist eligible Soldiers with dependents in grades K thru 12th for home schooling costs for specific supplies and equipment up to $500 per family. Eligibility period for this special category of assistance will be retroactive back to March 1, 2020 and will remain in effect until rescinded by HQ AER. Assistance will be provided as a loan, grant or combination of both (GROAN) to minimize any additional financial hardship on Soldiers and Families. If you require additional guidance, please contact our AER office at 706-545-3530, 706-626-0214 or 706-626-0189.
Consumer Complaint Resolution Assistance
Counselors are available by appointment to assist in resolving consumer issues with businesses. Financial counselors work with Soldiers, family members and the business in question to resolve the issue. Complaints are coordinated through the Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. When a pattern of discriminatory or unscrupulous business practices is identified, the matter is raised to the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board, which may recommend a business be put off-limits to Soldiers.
Financial Readiness Classes
Locations and schedules vary. Call to register at 706-545-4043.
Home Buying Seminar: Learn about the actual costs of homeownership and the basics of home buying (Veteran’s Administration representative on-site).
Identity Theft-An Epidemic: Learn to protect yourself against ID theft and what to do if you are ever the victim.
Smart Car Buying: Everything you need to know about buying a car, including three steps to Smart Car Buying, New versus Used, Financing, Car Insurance, and more!
Understanding Credit Reporting: Everything you should know about credit reporting, including the role of credit, what goes into a credit score, disputing errors, and rebuilding credit.
Budgeting for Baby: Learn to budget for your new arrival, ways to manage your debts and save money (list of available resources provided such as WIC).
Holiday Spending Includes information, tools, and ideas to develop a holiday spending plan. Also offers tips for lowering costs.
Bank Account Maintenance: Every Monday from 9:15 to 10:30 a.m. Focuses on the skills needed to responsibly manage a bank account, including the importance of keeping an accurate transaction register and statement reconciliation.
Budgeting & Managing your Accounts: Every Monday (except holidays) we offer guidance in developing a personal spending plan, including saving for emergencies, periodic expenses, and goals while meeting needs and paying the debt. We will also discuss the skills needed to responsibly manage your bank accounts, including the importance of keeping accurate transaction records, online banking, and apps.