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Prepare for financial hardship
ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- A member of the Airman and Family Readiness Center provides financial advice to an Airman Sept. 27, 2013. The A&FRC offers free services to Airmen and their families to include information and education to help enhance readiness and quality of life. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lausanne Genuino/Released)
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Center prepares families for financial hardship

Posted 9/30/2013   Updated 9/30/2013 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Lausanne Genuino
97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

9/30/2013 - ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Airmen are encouraged to have a plan to financially support themselves and their families in the event of a government shutdown Oct. 1.

The shutdown could result in service members reporting to work as normal, but without the benefit of a paycheck. Although the pay will be retroactively paid, this may cause financial hardships for those not prepared.

The Airmen and Family Readiness Center has received guidance from the Air Force Aid Society with the aim to help those who may fall under hardship.

"Every case is reviewed and screened on an individual basis," said Eric R. Thayer, 97th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center section chief. "If people are placed in emergency situations, they can come in and they would be issued an interest-free loan."

The A&FRC provides several financial classes targeting Airmen assigned to Altus, and walk-ins are also welcomed.

"I'd rather have people come in while they're financially healthy rather than wait until an emergency happens or they're in financial distress before they come in to do a budget," said Thayer.

Along with developing a budget, Military One Source recommends that service members and their families save at least three months of expenses, in case of a financial emergency. The Web site also advises service members to avoid excessive spending with credit cards, especially cards with high interest.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Rebecca Corey, 97th Air Mobility Wing Staff Agencies first sergeant, also offered advice on dealing with creditors in the event of the government shutdown.

"If people don't have a savings account, they can talk with their creditors to ask for leniency until pay does resume," said Corey. "Most of them are aware of the situation at hand and are usually willing to work with you."

It is also okay to simply ask for help from coworkers and friends when times get tough, said the first sergeant.

"As an Air Force family, we should all be there to rally together and help each other out," said Corey.

Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon contributed to this article.

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