Often it’s Not a Question of Should I Join the Military, But How Do I Join the Military.
Well for the Air Force, one the requirements are that you must pass a credit check. If you’re not sure about your credit I suggest you get a credit check done from an online company first so you know what is on your report. The Air Force has always done credit checks for as long as I can remember, but they were only done on people who were over the age of 23 or who were married. Nowadays everyone has to have a credit check approved before joining the Air Force.
I have never had anyone not be able to join the Air Force due to having bad credit, but it has often been a somewhat lengthy process to get them approved.
Here’s what you need to know about joining the Air Force in regard to credit checks.
No credit is not bad credit.
If you don’t have any credit history than this Air Force requirement won’t hold you up from enlisting. You are not applying for a loan. So as opposed to trying to buy a car or a house, not having any credit history is actually a good thing.
If you have good credit than congratulations, obviously you are good to go as well.
Now if you have bad credit than we might have some issues.
The most common items on credit checks that I have seen that need attention are: Charge offs, and outstanding balances. Late payments aren’t really that big of a deal, although like most things, this could vary depending on where you are enlisting. Each squadron may have a variation of how strict they choose to be.
If you have charge offs you will need to write a letter basically explaining why the account was charged off. With a charge off the creditor has basically considered your account a loss and you aren’t actually required to pay anything.
If you have delinquent outstanding balances you will need to pay the balances off or start a plan to get them paid off. This will require you to write another letter explaining why you were behind on these bills, how much you owe, what your plan is to get it paid off, who you talked to at the company to set up
the plan and their phone number, and a copy of your first payment towards the newly proposed plan.
The copy of your payment could be a check made out to the company in the amount you planned to pay.
So to make it a bit simpler this is what you do if you owe $1500 to ABC Loan Shark inc.
1. Call ABC Loan Shark Inc and ask to speak with the billing dept.
2. Get the name of the rep you talk to and their number
3. Ask them if you can set up a payment plan (or you can obviously pay the whole thing off)
4. Annotate the terms of the plan and say thank you for not coming after me and breaking my legs to get the money back.
5. Draft the letter as stated above (your recruiter will likely be able to give you a template).
6. Give the letter and a copy of a check made out to ABC Loan Shark Inc in the amount agreed upon indicated in the letter you are providing to your recruiter.
That’s it and you should then be good to go.
I forgot one thing. There is also one other issue that could arise with Air Force credit checks. You may not be delinquent on any bills and you may not have any charge offs, BUT you might have too much debt. Meaning your debt to income ratio or potential income when you join the Air Force is out of whack.
The Air Force wants to ensure that you will be able to pay your bills and take care of your family when you join. So take this scenario for example
You’re credit check comes back and we determine that based on your $100,000 mortgage, $40,000 car loan, $5000 personal loan, $15,000 boat loan, and your $8,000 motorcycle loan, plus the fact that you have 3 kids and an unemployed wife, you will need to have a financial eligibility determination accomplished.
Next they come back and say that you are $50,000 too deep in debt to join the Air Force.
These situations are the worst and the most time consuming because the only options you have here are to somehow reduce your debt.
Payment plans and letters won’t work in this situation. You have to reduce your debt and try again. Go get a credit check done, take care of your bills and you should be just fine.
There you go, so if you want to join the military and the Air Force is your branch of choice than I hope this helps in regard to preparing for the credit check portion of the Air Force Requirements.
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