- Financial Readiness
The Financial Readiness Program is your resource for information on money matters. We can help you better understand financial topics like:
- 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 how the Financial Readiness Program can help you, contact your nearest Army Community Service Center.
Other helpful financial readiness links include:
- Thrift Savings Plan: A Federal Government-sponsored 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 active duty, National Guard, reserve members, 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 meet the needs of active and retired military personnel and their Families.
Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA) Pre-screening
Pre-screening and counseling for Soldiers who qualify for the FSSA entitlement. FSSA is an entitlement authorized by Congress in 2001 and created to supplement the Soldier's Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). This entitlement will not exceed $1100 per month. Information and application for FSSA is web-based and can be found under the "Life Events that Impact Your Benefits" tab.
- Car Buying for the Savvy Consumer
- Army Emergency Relief (AER) Overview
Army Emergency Relief (AER) is a private, non-profit organization established to assist Soldiers and their Family members in emergency financial situations due to no fault of their own. Financial assistance is given in the form of an interest-free loan, grant, or combination of the two. Loans are repaid by an allotment.
AER’s Education Program is a secondary mission to help Army Families with the costs of education. The three separate scholarship programs are:
Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program
• Applicant must be the Spouse or widow(er) of an active duty or retired Soldier and reside in the United States.
• Stateside applicants must be full time students.
• First undergraduate degrees only.
• Active duty military personnel are not eligible.
Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program Major General James Ursano Scholarship Fund for Dependent Children.
Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program
• Applicants must be a Spouse of an active duty Soldier assigned in Europe, Korea, Japan, or Okinawa.
• Applicants must physically reside with the Soldier at the assigned location.
• First undergraduate degrees only.
• Off post students are not eligible.
• Spouses may be part time or full time students.
Major General James Ursano Scholarship Fund for Dependant Children
• Dependent children, stepchildren, or legally adopted children of Army Soldiers on active duty, retired or deceased while in active duty or retired status.
The children of Grey Area Reservists/National Guard are eligible as well.
Scholarship awards will be awarded up to half the cost of tuition. Scholarship awards are based on financial need, as evidenced by income, assets, Family size, and special circumstances.
Applications and instructions are available for all the scholarships on the AER website at www.aerhq.org
- AER Resources and Forms
- Available Courses
Learn how to read and understand your credit report; how a credit score is determined and how you can improve your score. Learn how to correct errors found on your credit report which can reflect on your credit score. Also, you will learn how to understand the calculation of finance charges and how to lower your interest rate.
Discover the differences in banking institutions. This class places emphasis on record keeping and personal organization of finances.
This class teaches how to create an accurate budget/spending plan that you can stick to and that meets your need; plus information and strategies for managing personal debt; how to escape its clutches and improve your credit score.
Saving and Investing
This class provides and overview of all types of saving and investment products; this class covers the basic information needed to understand how savings plans and different types of investments work. The topics covered include IRA’s, 401K’s, TSP, 529 plans, and money markets accounts.
Students will learn the basics of understanding insurance. The instructor will discuss the different reasons for purchasing insurance (life, auto, home, and renter’s).
Buying your first home can be overwhelming. You will learn home buying terms such as down payment, mortgage, escrow, financing, home inspection, survey, property taxes, fees, titles, insurance, and legal responsibilities.
Consumer Affairs and Identity Theft
The goal of this class is to help the soldier and their families make smart consumer decisions and how to avoid problems in our increasingly complex marketplace. Subjects include purchasing a car and auto repairs; dispelling myths and avoiding scams; telemarketing, internet and mail fraud schemes; consumer laws, and many other topics. Information is provided on how to resolve disputes effectively and what role local, state, and federal agencies play in protecting consumers.
Pre-Purchase Information and Advice
We provide information on specific businesses and advice on many consumer subjects. Brochures and other literature on a variety of consumer subjects are available. You may also obtain phone numbers and addresses for local, state, federal and corporate consumer affairs agencies.
Complaint Resolution and Requests for Assistance
We assist in resolving problems, please call for an appointment. Walk-ins will be seen upon space availability.
- Providing solicitation information and service.
- Processing applications for permits to do business on post.
- Issuing and annually renewing permits.
- Monitoring the actions of the permit holders for regulation compliance.
- Initiating investigations upon receiving complaints of violations of AR 210-7, FH Regulation 210-7 Supplement and FH Regulation 210-5.
- Non-Receipt of Pay
- Loss of Funds
- Medical, Dental and Hospital
- Funeral Expenses
- Required Travel Expenses
- Rent / Utilities
- Essential POV Repair Privation
Consumer Affairs Office
The Consumer Affairs Office offers many services to include:
We offer assistance to commercial and home based businesses and their authorized agents interested in conducting business on Fort Hood by:
Command Financial Specialist Program (CFSP)
Our command program, helps prepare Soldiers and Families to deal with financial situations for deployments as well as the financial realities of day-to-day military life. We provide commanders a mechanism through which financial education, training, counseling, and referral procedures are established in their units to promote sound financial practices, personal integrity, and financial responsibility.
Our objective is to enhance and maintain mission readiness and quality of life by providing Soldiers and their Family members a ready-made program to help achieve personal financial readiness and deployability through the use of sound money management and consumer skills.
Army Emergency Relief (AER)
We play a unique and important role in helping the Army "Take Care of Its Own." Our office provides emergency financial assistance to Soldiers, both active and retired, and their family members during period of valid emergencies.
Approval of an AER loan is based on the need created by an emergency beyond the control of the Soldier. Although each loan application is considered on its own merit, our office should be the last aid station when all other agencies have been unable to assist (Red Cross, Finance, other ACS programs, etc.)
We will consider cases in the following areas:
We are unable to provide assistance for abortions, bad checks, civilian court fees, fines or judgments, bail bonds, liens, legal fees, credit card bills, telephone bills, marriages, divorces, ordinary leaves or vacations, liquidation/consolidation of debts, overdrawn bank accounts/overdrafts, state or federal income taxes.
Soldiers applying for AER assistance must first see their Command Financial Specialist (CFS). The CFS will then schedule an appointment with the AER office. The unit commander must sign all AER Forms 600 or 700. Continued command and individual support, prompt repayment of loans, and the use of the AER Program for valid emergencies will ensure the continued availability of AER funds for all Soldiers.