Financial resources for Reserve families


(Photo: Unsplash, Christine Roy)

Reservists who are called to active duty can face a wide range of financial challenges, sometimes even before they leave home. Thankfully, there are resources available to help those reservists. Installation Personal Financial Managers and Personal Financial Counselors are available to help with the usual range of information, counseling, and referral services. Reserve bases may have PFMs and PFCs on select drill weekends, in surge assignments in conjunction with a deployment, or even full-time.

Military OneSource offers counseling and referral services via the telephone.

Army Reserve Family Programs has the Fort Family Outreach and Support Center that connects reservists with local area resources.  Their Crisis Response telephone line (1-844-ONE-FAMY) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Operation Homefront provides Critical Financial Assistance (CFA) programprovides a wide variety of financial help to many different groups, including reservists on Title 10 orders who are deploying to a hostile fire theater within 90 days, or who have returned from a hostile fire theater within 180 days.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Unmet Needs Program:  While the eligibility criteria state “active duty,” the program reviews each application.  It is possible for reservists to receive assistance in certain situations.

The American Legion Family Support Network connects military families in need with local American Legion posts, who may be able to provide physical or financial assistance.

PenFed Foundation’s ARK Loans are short-term, low-fee loans available to active duty, reserve, and National Guard military.  You may borrow up to $500 for just a $5 fee and no interest for one month.

The website Aunt Bertha sorts resources by your geographic area and type of assistance.  Put in your zip code and what you need, and get connected with resources in your local community. There are other, more specialized charities that can help with specific needs.  Your installation financial specialists can help you track these down if your situation doesn’t fall under the resources listed above. Don’t let deployment wreck your family’s finances. It’s hard to accept help, but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

By Kate Horrell, Military.com

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