Should I take a military pay advance when I PCS?

For many situations, yes. Taking a pay advance when you PCS is a great way to help yourself out get ahead financially and stay out of debt while you PCS. There are many costs associated with a PCS, not all of which are reimbursed.

A pay advance is a 0% loan to your present self from your future self. You can usually get a month's pay (BAH + Basic Pay, no BAS or incentive pays usually) advanced to you (with the taxes taken out) and then pay it back over the next 12 months. It's a fairly painless process that can usually be accomplished through your online finance office or in the finance customer service area on one form. If you only take a month's pay out and repay it over 12 months, you don't even need a commander's signature: it's automatically approved.

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Should you keep student loans around for the tax advantaged interest?

I've heard from several people that they only make the minimum payments on their student loans because they have tax advantages. Basically, the interest you pay on a student loan is tax deductible, so it lowers the amount of money you can be taxed on, therefore lowering your tax burden. Shouldn’t I just keep making the minimum payments so I can claim the interest on my taxes every year? Short answer: no. Long Answer…

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