ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - During the current global economic crisis, the military offers job security, but with the affects of rising prices, mortgage trouble, and debt, military Families may be feeling the strain.

Financial worries put a greater burden on the military on top of long war deployments. To ease the burden, Army Community Service offers consumer affairs programs to provide information to the military community to encourage and support educated financial decisions.

Before making any purchases, the financial counselors can assist with research on businesses, programs and products. They link clients to the Better Business Bureau to check the ethics of businesses and assist with consumer complaints.

Unit financial classes are offered, but not limited to:
Banking and credit union services
Money management
Financial planning
Understanding credit
Consumer rights and obligations
Insurance
TSP

Army Community Service Financial Readiness Program also offers classes to all ID card holders. Individuals can sign up for classes or units can request classes be tailored to meet the needs of their organization. Classes offered range from consumer rights and responsibilities as well as individual consumer complaint resolution.

The FRP assists in the resolution of consumer complaints and acts as a consumer advocate in the areas of fraud, identity theft, scams, etc.

"We show clients how to obtain free credit reports, how to accurately read a credit report, dispute inaccurate information and negotiate settlements with creditors," said Arcelio Alleyne, Aberdeen Proving Ground financial readiness officer, "and, we have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Council of Better Business Bureaus."

Counselors at ACS attend regular training to stay up to date on legislation that may help clients resolve their financial dilemma.

For example, recent legislation offers protection from landlords facing foreclosure to military Families who rent.

Army Community Service counselors work directly with lenders and lien holders in establishing a workable payment schedule to ensure the client's ability to keep their homes or property.

They also keep a current list of resources available to give to clients seeking additional avenues of assistance. The FRP offers debt liquidation services through Consumer Credit Counseling Service for short or long term debt solutions.

"We are here to serve the APG military community," Alleyne said.

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Page last updated Thu November 5th, 2009 at 09:35