Citi and CredAbility Join with IAVA to Launch Online Financial Education and Counseling Program for New Veterans and Families

Citi and CredAbility Join with IAVA to Launch Online Financial Education and Counseling Program for New Veterans and Families

CONTACT: Michelle McCarthy (212) 982-9699 or michelle@iava.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 8th, 2012

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CredAbility ReConnect Offers Online Tools to Navigate Debt Management, Home Ownership and more

NEW YORK—Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for the veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, joined with Citi to announce the launch of CredAbility ReConnect, a free online financial education and counseling program designed to help new veterans and their families resolve financial difficulties and build economic security. According to CredAbility, the national nonprofit credit counseling organization, veterans ages 29 or younger who went through credit counseling in 2011 had monthly expenses that exceeded their monthly net income by $880. Additionally, these veterans reported an average credit card debt of $7,234. CredAbility ReConnect will address these veterans’ unique financial challenges by providing a set of online tools, education and counseling—at no cost for IAVA Members and their families.

“Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are coming home to the toughest job market in decades. Financial literacy is absolutely critical to survive in this economy both in and out of uniform. But there is a serious need across our veterans’ community for easily accessible services to navigate financial challenges from credit card debt to home ownership. CredAbility ReConnect will give new veterans and their families the tools and counseling that they need to make smart financial decisions about their futures,” said IAVA Executive Director and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “IAVA applauds Citi and CredAbility for their tremendous support in launching this initiative. The 2.4 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have dedicated their lives to serving our country. The last thing any veteran of these wars should have to face is significant financial burden when they return home.”

CredAbility ReConnect is a coordinated initiative between Citi, CredAbility, IAVA, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN). The program was developed by CredAbility in collaboration with IAVA and support from a Citi Community Development contribution as part of the Citi Salutes initiative.  As part of the program, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans can receive one-on-one credit counseling 24/7 at www.credability.org/iava or by calling 888.304.8372. Watch the PSA and listen to podcasts here.
   
The program will cover five impact areas:

  • The Financial Impact of Deployment – Online courses to help military families deal with the financial implications of a deployment, including how to manage money while a spouse is overseas.
  • Easing the Transition – Online courses, such as “Understanding Your Military Benefits” and “Reconnecting Financially” help ease the financial transition for those who have recently left the armed forces or experienced the death of a service member.
  • Budget and Credit Counseling – Personalized financial “check-ups” help users manage their money better and prioritize spending through easy-to-follow plans. Online courses help with wise use of credit, debt reduction strategies, and setting goals for a healthier financial future.
  • Debt Management Plans – Custom affordable repayment plans, often with reduced interest rates, fees and penalties for qualified individuals, help visitors pay down debt, negotiate with creditors and regain their financial footing.
  • Foreclosure Prevention and Home Buying Guidance – HUD-certified counselors provide guidance to individuals who are behind on their mortgage payments or face foreclosure, as well as to prospective homebuyers.

IAVA is dedicated to supporting new veterans and their families through innovative programs and events that help them shoulder the burdens they face after ten years of war. On June 21st, IAVA will partner with Citi and four other leading banks for the second annual Veterans on Wall Street Conference and Smart Job Fair in New York to support veterans exploring careers in finance and other industries. Veterans can register for IAVA’s free Smart Job Fair, co-hosted with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and learn more about participating employers here.

To learn more about IAVA’s policy recommendations to help new veterans and their families navigate financial, housing and health challenges, download IAVA’s latest Issue Report Unsung Heroes: Military Families After 10 Years of War.

If you are a member of the media who wishes to arrange an interview with IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff, Deputy Policy Director Tom Tarantino or an IAVA Member Veteran facing financial challenges, please contact Michelle McCarthy at (212) 982-9699 or michelle@iava.org.


Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the country’s first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 200,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide.

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