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Debt Ceiling Crisis: How USAA Is Prepared Help Members

Should the federal government not reach an agreement by Aug. 2 to raise the debt ceiling — and therefore not be able to pay its bills — USAA has solutions in place to help our members who might not get the federal pay and benefits they need to meet their daily obligations. Here's how we are prepared to help members who are impacted and request assistance:

Who? How We Can Help
Active-duty military personnel, including activated Guard & Reserves

Temporary Payroll Advance Program to eligible members serving on active duty, including those actively serving in the Guard and Reserve, who have their existing DFAS payroll deposited into a USAA checking or savings account. This is a one-time loan for payroll scheduled for deposit on Aug. 15.

Waive property and casualty insurance policy late fees or bank nonsufficient fund fees and suspend nonpayment cancellations for members who are on active duty, including those actively serving the Guard and Reserve, for 30 days where legally permitted.

Other members who receive government payments *
  • Special payment arrangements, which could include skipping a payment, on some bank products.
  • Refunds of fees for nonsufficient funds and overdrafts on USAA Bank products.
  • Waiver of credit card late fees.
  • Lines of credit increases.
  • Waivers of certain investment administrative fees.
  • Billing arrangements for life insurance products.

"Rest assured, USAA has continued to manage its financial resources to meet our commitments to members in their moments of need," said CEO Joe Robles. "We are also well prepared to assist our members affected by this situation — particularly military members and others who might not get the pay and benefits they need to manage their daily lives."

6 Must-Do Tips to Help Prepare — Just in Case...

In addition to the ways USAA can help you, there are things you can do now should the Aug. 2 deadline pass with no resolution. Here are six must-do tips:

1. Set up overdraft protection. This will help you avoid having your account become overdrawn or fall below its minimum balance.

2. Stash cash. Start looking now for ways to make easy changes in your lifestyle that will yield an additional $20, $50 or $100.

3. Create a spending plan. Stick to the necessities, postpone major purchases and determine what your bare-bones requirements are.

4. Be proactive. Contact your lenders, utility providers and other service providers so they understand your situation and may be flexible and provide alternative payment options.

5. Stay your investment course. These are financially uncertain times but it's still important to consider long-term financial goals versus impulsive reactions based on immediate market conditions. USAA members are encouraged to call our professional financial advisors to review long-term financial goals to help them prepare for the future.

6. Review your portfolio. Talk to a financial advisor to ensure your savings and investments reflect your goals. In volatile times associated with events like this, it's critical to ensure your investments are in line with the timeframe of your goals.

Still have questions? We have answers.

Read these Frequently Asked Questions.
Check out the Treasury Department's Debt Limit: Myth v. Fact.
Call USAA at 1-800-531-8722.

What is a debt ceiling?
Also known as the debt limit, the debt ceiling is the amount of gross debt the federal government is authorized to have. The current limit is $14.3 trillion, which the government reached on May 16, 2011, causing Treasury officials to utilize special strategies to handle cash and debt management responsibilities to avoid a default.


Want to learn more about preparing for a financial emergency?  Head over to "Our Letters to You", a Military Family Blog.



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