Blog: Financial top tips for service personnel

Service personnel and their families can find it difficult to access commercial products and services because of the time spent outside of the UK.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has been working with the financial sector to improve the ability of armed forces personnel to access financial products.

Credit ratings

Credit reference agencies hold factual data, provided to them by a wide range of companies, including banks, credit card providers and mobile phone providers. As long as you keep your address information up to date, your credit history shouldn’t be affected simply because you've been posted overseas.

If incorrect information is showing in your credit report, you can contact the credit reference agencies to dispute it. Or if you think the information misrepresents your personal circumstances you can ask to have a ‘notice of correction’ added to your record, allowing you to explain the situation.

Mortgages and loans

Lenders take several factors into account when deciding whether to grant a mortgage or loan. This includes a check against future credit affordability to make sure you will still be able to afford the repayments if interest rates rise in the future. The Forces Help to Buy scheme can help you get on the property ladder. It enables service men and women to borrow up to 50% of their salary (capped at £25,000), interest free, to buy their first home, move to another property on assignment or as their needs or circumstances change.

British Forces Post Office (BFPO) addresses

You must always give your address in the correct BFPO address format and postcode and keep lenders informed every time you move. MOD and industry bodies are working hard to make sure lenders’ IT systems recognise BFPO addresses.

Insurance

Whilst there are specific considerations to take into account with regards to insurance for the armed forces, following these basic principles will help to keep your insurance costs as low as possible:

  • shop around
  • secure your vehicle / home
  • pay a higher voluntary excess
  • pay your premium up front
  • build up a no claims discount
  • don’t pay for unnecessary extras

 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.