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NEWS | Feb. 22, 2008

Fair to show Airmen how to protect, grow assets

By Jerry Jackson 37th Mission Support Group

From predatory lending laws to savvy savings techniques, members of Team Lackland have the chance to hear from financial experts at the Military Saves Financial Fair 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the Gateway Club.

The Airman and Family Readiness Flight will be hosting the fair in honor of Military Saves Week, which runs through March 2.

The idea behind the week is to encourage people to save. Military Saves is part of the nationwide America Saves program.

The Defense Department wants servicemembers and their families to be aware of in-house programs that can help them to better manage their money and stay out of debt.

Now in its second year, the Military Saves program was designed with this in mind to teach servicemembers and their families how to save and invest their hard-earned dollars.

During Military Saves Week, installations across the country will offer money-management seminars and distribute information to encourage people to save money.

Learn more about saving options from base financial institutions, plus the Consumer Credit Counseling Service, and the Better Business Bureau. Each will have booths that day in the ballroom.

At the fair, presentations on credit reports, predatory lending, and debt management will be given by various organizations.

For years, payday lenders and other loan-shark lenders have taken advantage of military families, luring borrowers into high-fee and high-cost loans with empty promises of "easy money." 

ll too often, these unsuspecting customers were swallowed up in a dangerous spiral of debt, harming families, threatening careers and weakening military readiness.

A new law, commonly known as the Military Lending Act, combats abusive lending practices targeted at military families and places certain requirements and limitations on loans to service-members and their dependents.

The DoD published its final rules to implement the new consumer protections for military families, which was included as an amendment to the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act.

The new regulations took effect Oct. 1.

For more information, personnel can visit the Web site or call the AFRF at 671-3722.