Announcing the Veterans Benefits Banking Program

A partnership between VA and the Association of Military Banks of America


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Life comes with plenty of challenges, but your banking shouldn’t be one of them. That’s why VA has partnered with the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) to launch the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP). With VBBP, Veterans and their families can safely, reliably, and inexpensively receive and manage their VA monetary benefits through financial services at participating banks.

This new program introduces new financial resources to Veterans and their beneficiaries. AMBA specializes in providing services for military personnel, Veterans, and their families around the world. VBBP’s new services will give Veterans the tools necessary to better protect their benefits from fraudulent schemes. It will also help to improve their financial literacy so that they can develop a long-term financial strategy.

Our Veterans who receive monetary benefits should have as many financial management and services options as possible. Participating VBBP banks will offer eligible Veterans federally-insured and regulated financial products, services, and education that can be tailored to their needs and the needs of their families.

The present available banking options include direct deposit into an existing bank account, electronic funds transfer into a Direct Express pre-paid debit card, and mailing of a paper check for pre-approved beneficiaries. VBBP expands upon these offerings.

VBBP introduces new financial resources to Veterans and their beneficiaries. It will expand these offerings by giving Veterans more choices, and it addresses issues some Veterans experience using the payment methods currently available to them. VBBP offers these VA beneficiaries – including many who have been unable to open bank accounts in the past – the opportunity to deposit their benefit funds directly into existing or new bank accounts offered by participating AMBA member banks.

VA delivers approximately $118 billion annually in benefits and services for Veterans and their families, ranging from disability compensation, pension and fiduciary, education, home loan guaranty, vocational rehabilitation and employment, life insurance, and transition and economic development. There are approximately 250,000 Veterans and beneficiaries who receive their VA benefits through a pre-paid debit card or paper check who may not have a bank account.

Neither VA nor AMBA endorses any bank and does not require Veterans and other beneficiaries to use them. Veterans who are satisfied with their current financial situation are not required to change how they receive their VA monetary benefits.

How to enroll

Find more information on the Veterans Benefits Banking Program, the enrollment process, or how to find a bank that fits your needs, visit benefits.va.gov/banking or veteransbenefitsbanking.org.

To have your federal benefits electronically transferred to a your bank, eligible Veterans should visit VA.gov/change-direct-deposit or call VA at 1-800-827-1000 with relevant banking information.


Joseph Gurney is a senior advisor, fiscal stewardship, for VA’s Veterans Benefit Administration.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Rex L Hesterberg    

    I disagree with that statement because since October I’ve been trying to find a way to get cash by using my equity so I can replace my roof and repair heating system and even though VA has new loan for that called VA Home Renovation Loan I have yet to find a financial loan company that offers it. Refusals being based on home is now a non appraisable home until I can do the replacement s or repairs. With no appraisal I’m not able to get a cash out refinance. That is the purpose for this VA Renovation Loan but I’ve been trying to no availe.VA has it down good on paper but gives no help to find help for you. Right now way things going I’ll probably be forced. to stop making mortgage payments to acquire cash for repairs probably get repairs done the but they’ll start foreclosure so why chance that and just let the repairs go till they prevente from living in home.Oh yeah It’s VA loan which I use my VA pension to make payments so wether I can hold on to the house or not the VA tells you we will get your money because it’s government and they’ll use your disability compensation to get their money. It’s already giving me a hopeless feeling. Yeah looks good they created this loan for repairs on paper but it’s like it doesn’t exist. I’m 66 now so way things are going probably join the homeless soon.

  2. Bernie bunion    

    I’d like to see who all the new private contracts in the VA are actually going to? They have had long standing problems for decades with local Facility directors getting kickbacks & I suspect it’s only gotten worse since the Mar-a-lago crew came to power- All kind of new marketing ploys via the VA now- Years ago you could go into the VA hospital canteen & actually get a bargain/deal- That stopped many years ago with new vendor contracts & prices skyrocketed on high end items mostly for employees rather than the veterans- All the above comments by folks are on point- “Here’s a new free limited benefit but if you want the better service or stuff it’ll cost you $$ monthly or yearly to join- Done ranting – Over & out – Thanks

  3. Penelope Scott    

    What is the purpose for the creation of the Association of Military Banks(AMB)? How do these particular banks benefit over any other reputable bank or credit union? What was involved in their acquiring this “partnership” with the Veterans Administration? It might appear they are trying to create the appearance of being safer and under more stringent scrutiny, Hence the endorsement by the Veterans Administration. If they are being endorsed, doesn’t the endorser share liability and responsibility for any harmful dealings by those banks?

    1. Steve    

      I have no access in Europe to the US Banking system, this will solve the problem when accessing Militäry Facilities to use the new VHIC benefits.

  4. Steve Savasky    

    My Bank will give VETS a free account.
    This is the 5/3 Bank of Ohio.

    1. Miguel Vega    

      Here’s a real benefit that needs to be addressed. Eliminate All banking and ATM fees for all veteran benefit deposits!

  5. john morris    

    I have often asked this question but never received an answer. When you are qualifying for a mortgage and you are 100%
    real estate tax free why do they add the taxes in as a debt? This will sometime make your debt ratio too high. VA need to do something about this.

    1. Richie Incognito    

      What does your taxes charged at closing have to do with your debt-to-income? Those are unrelated. You probably want to talk to a real estate professional about this.

  6. Ronald Arm    

    Fluff and a Crok all wrapped up in yet more non-sensical pretend we’re improving the VA crap. The VA does and did pretty good as of late. There are real improvements to be made not this stuff that is just to impress, I’m not sure who. Not a thing offerred here that nearly every existing financial institution doesn’t already. put the money into fully funding existing VA Healthcare facilities and stop trying to “privatize” our VA and pretending like you’re reaching out. We for the most part are not fooled by this bait & switch crap.

  7. Shannon    

    If you truly want to help us…open a How about a VA home loan only institution to guide and direct us with that process? One that didn’t make a profit with their grimy practices and who took the time to sit personally with us and go thru these processes. Like most credit unions currently do. Navy Federal by name alone sounds like a prime example. Not sure it could be clever business practice, I’m not a client. But why not all credit unions…leave these banks out of it. Their fees and general ignorance of our needs isn’t sufficient to get me to go there. We aren’t big business folks were veterans who need guidance without someone profiting or taking advantage of our steady income with slick sounding ads.

  8. Howard Falcon    

    The escrow accounts have a purpose, mostly protection for the bank against Tax Liens and to protect against most types of damage and loss such as fire. When you think about it is also protecting you in some way or fashion. Most banks don’t require an escrow account based on the amount borrowed in relationship to the value of the property.

  9. plain truth    

    I am fairly certain any bank or credit union can accept your VA check or automatic drafts. So hows that a benefit? Its standard practice. What next a bank that takes cash from vets and lets them have saving accounts??? Wow How about a bank that does VA loans…..wait? isnt that already a benefit? Ok a bank that will explain money to you???? Wait you mean that information can’t be found on the internet???? OK so can anybody please…. any body tell me just how this program is a benefit and not and advertisement for select banks marketed as a benefit????

  10. Rod Donovan    

    Bah! More mumbo jumbo. Just throw it out there. What benefits? Oh, I get it. Now I have to go all over the web to get concise, pertinent information. Does this put any money in my pocket? NO. The VA wouldn’t finance to put a modular home on my land. I finally got a Mobile Home lender to take care of it. They did a great job.

    1. don lazarus    

      HELLO Rod
      COULD YOU LET ME KNOW THE NAME OF THE LENDER YOU USED FOR YOUR MOBILE HOME
      FELLOW VETERAN PO 3 VIET NAM
      thanks
      Don

  11. Scott nelson    

    This is a worthy VA effort that benefits some of our military folks. Most don’t need it however, because existing banking services work just fine. Thank you VA for all you do. Keep up the good work.

  12. David Edwards    

    Good morning,

    When I contacted my credit union, SkyOne, they said that although they do not do VA loans they could assist in finding a VA lender and help with the paper work and other assistance. They said it would require 20% down. Now I don’t know if that meant they would seek out conventional lenders she made it sound as if it it would be a VA loan. I didn’t pursue it since I went through a VA lender.

  13. Jacob James    

    Embezzled? By it’s own definition, embezzle is to steal or misappropriate money/property placed in one’s trust or belonging to the organization for which one works. Embezzlement can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value. There are already protections…it’s illegal to embezzle. Did you file a police report when this was supposedly embezzled? depending on the crime, misdemeanor/felony, your VA benefits my be reduced or stopped WHILE incarcerated. After release, they will be reinstated. Need more information…

    1. Helen Mollet    

      VA Loans are ZERO down and at the most ONE DOLLAR down, which the lender returns to you…I know, because I’ve done about four or five VA Loans, through origination and IRRL just to get interest rate down…It’s A LOT of paperwork (as Government usually is) but worth it.

  14. Rodney Recor    

    What a bunch of crap! This offers nothing to vets. This is just one more scam, like the college loan system, that rich Republican politicians have devised for big banks to exploit us and to channel more money out of our pockets and into theirs.. What will this create, I wonder… another class of Americans crushed under more debt for the rest of our lives?

    1. Jacob James    

      Why? As a 20.5 retired veteran, with 3 undergrad, and two grad degrees, all but one in business and IT, I don’t find this to be crap at all. It does offer benefits (counseling, guidance, money management, more options, fraud protection, especially for individuals that have credit problems and legal problems). You cannot compare college loan system with this. It’s not Repubs…it’s congress, and agencies.

      It actually sounds like you’ve made some bad decisions, were perhaps scammed, and now you’re trying to put the blame on someone. Well, if you read and understood what this program offers, it’s to provide guidance and coaching to individuals, so they can avoid the mistakes that others, such as yourself, have made.

      Too bad you are such a Debbie-Downer! If your not interested, just ignore it, don’t participate. Perhaps others might benefit. Sorry, but it’s NOT all about you.

    2. John Q. Adams    

      What? Are you ok? Comparing this to a Republican run college loan scam reveals severe partisan hysteria. Get some help. I’m not advocating for the banking arrangement, but you need help.

  15. Norman Cooper    

    I would love to have this amazing opportunity

    1. Nah    

      You can also just join USAA at 800-531-8722

  16. Rick    

    I heard that the VA is not going to be doing 100% VA loans anymore is that true

    1. Jacob James    

      My recommendation is not to “listen” or “hear” from anyone outside of the VA (including me). Go directly to the source for your benefits…the VA!

  17. L G    

    I don’t see the benefit neither. I appreciate information but at this point we are saturated with information on everything. Somebody creates a web page with information and they say it’s a new benefit. Let’s make the benefits more tangible please.

  18. Mike    

    Anyone know of any lenders that don’t require an escrow account on a va loan and won’t charge you for not having one? I’m sick of these banks shakin us down whenever they can. Banks and Insurance are the downfall of good honest people trying to live the American “dream”.

  19. Tony T    

    Misleading propaganda video; appears made by the actual privately owned banks’ association.
    Come on VA, we are better than this.

    Unless I am missing some tangible actual real benefits over the credit unions that have served us well for decades, then please help us understand?

  20. Tony T    

    Whaaat? I don’t understand.
    Did something change?! Why do we not use our local base CREDIT UNION or one of several likely area CREDIT UNIONS … like many, many Sailors and Soldiers have for decades.

    MAYBE/or why would not the VA rather support CREDIT UNIONS over private Banks instead? Makes a Veteran wonder why this group of banks will receive preferential treatment; is this group donating to our cause or as it sounds like, are we providing FREE advertising and FREE support to privately owned banks that may have RETIRED military officers on their boards?

  21. Bruce Whaley    

    Can I refinance my mortgage with this bank?

  22. Stephen Palmer    

    How about they get rid of the Credit score requirement for a VHA home loan when you are veteran and are backed by the VA. That would help a lot of veterans and their family into a house.

    Im sure veterans that have issue while dealing with the VA, would like to have their funds being managed by the VA.

    [Editor: VA does not have a minimum credit score. If a bank or lender imposes one on you, find another who will work with you.]

  23. Bill Parker    

    I see money bags all over? What is this? A grant? A bank account. What services does it provide?

  24. Glenn Lego    

    This is of no value to me. I have a bank account at Associated Bank and I don’t want to go anywhere else. And I also have my VA disabled benefit direct deposited. So why should I want this.

  25. James S Bell    

    Bank of America, while just about anywhere. Will hit you for 12.00 monthly maintenance fee. Also hit you for 35.00 for insufficient funds for every transaction where there is not enough in your acct to pay the transaction, so be careful with this bank.

    1. Ray Chavana    

      BoA was charging me for insufficent funds penalties from the first transaction I ever had with them. I had the initial funds wired from hometown bank, no check to have to wait to clear, but they ignored that and charged me penalties anyway.

  26. Susan bodnar    

    So if I already have a bank or credit union & already have DDP, how does this benefit me?

    Do y’all have more options for VA loans or getting loans to help sell or get rid of a house that’s on a VA loan & currently financed through my credit union?

    1. Thuy T Tran    

      I have the same questions you do, Susan. I also want to add to your list of question about VA loan house, is there a loan to fix an existing VA home?

      [Editor: You can use a VA cash-out refinance loan: https://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/purchasecashout.asp ]

    2. John pickleHeimer    

      The VA needs to do a better job managing these misleading posts, this is an advertisement plain and simple. The Author is conveniently named after a dead banker from the 1800’s
      1 line sentence for a fee!

    3. Mike s    

      You have a va home loan through a credit union? I didn’t think that was possible…which one? Thanks for any info

      1. Paul Philbrick    

        Navy Federal Credit Union recently gave me a no down payment 30 year fixed loan for a single family home at a base rate of 3.25. APR @ 3.50. NFCU has no hidden fees or little account fees that add up. Use auto pay from your DD checking account, and you will never be late or miss a payment. Over time this helps build a better credit rating. They also answer the phone immediately, are English speaking US based professionals, that are well trained and competent. In forty years with them, they have never made a financial mistake on my account. They have few actual walk in offices, but don’t need them. From all over the world they provide full service, including free checks, self addressed stamped envelopes, credit counseling, and lots of little perks and services that commercial banks and even certain other supposedly military oriented CU’s either never had or got rid of in recent years. They offer everything you could imagine in services, including IRA’s, Money markets, Savings, Checking, Free ATM’s worldwide, Debit and Credit cards, Regular and special offer CD’s, etc. You name it. They have it. I use them for everything, which simplifies financial stress, and makes tax time much easier. Obviously recommended USN-Ret. E-6

    4. Christopher Paul    

      Susan, I am a Realtor and Veteran (USMC) and can either assist or refer you to someone who can.
      Christopher Paul

      1. Dustywind    

        Chris I wouldn’t mind having ur advise, Ms. Dusty

  27. Eileen Filomena    

    Can you just have a regular account with this bank

    1. John pickleHeimer    

      This post is actually an advertisement for a paid service.

      1. Gabriella Hollon-Meadows    

        To John pickleHeimer: I’m not paid by anybody, I’m a disabled Veterans spouse and went to a Navy Federal CU last year for a seminar about VA Home Loans. They talked in terms that even I could understand and they reassured me that they would not sell my loan to “yadda yadda” ever! (The “snake” of banks just did that to us!) Depending on your disability rating, you may qualify for “no down payment” at NFCU. We’re going to be talking with them about refinancing. As a spouse/dependant I’m scared about being screwed over if anything happens to my husband. I’ve heard a few horror stories! I feel better about Navy Federal simply because I can understand them and it makes sense when they explain it. Good Luck to you – find peace!

  28. Timothy Pena    

    I was embezzled out of $15k of VA Disability while incarcerated as an account holder at US Bank. What protections can the incarcerated veteran expect to ensure that funds are being mishandled?

    1. B    

      Bruh, your benefits get suspended while you’re in jail over a certain time.

    2. Fred warchol    

      You shouldn’t have received any benefits while you were incarcerated.

    3. Ian G    

      You don’t get those benefits while you’re in jail, any assistance is turned off if you are jailed.

    4. Justin Vames    

      When incarcerated you don’t techie enough full compensation. Only 10% bud.

    5. Baltic Badger    

      When you are incarcerated you are not eligible for va benefits

      1. Jacob James    

        Not necessarily true…too many factors involved…e.g., was it a misdemeanor? felony? VA MAY reduce or terminate while incarcerated.

  29. Vincent Neuroth    

    Just another money maker for banks, I’ll stay with NFCU.

    1. Fred warchol    

      incarcerated? Shouldn’t have received any benefits…

    2. Tony T    

      Right?!
      What’s up VA??? Sounds like scam against Sailors & Soldiers, not a real benefit.

    3. Dwaine    

      Sure thing Vincent Neuroth! Those money mongers won’t lift a finger unless there is profit to be made in the $millions. Stay away from banks and go for a credit union…different regulatory requirements.

    4. Dave Spurlock    

      Aye aye! I agree. I am worried that the banking industry has infiltrated the VA. This can’t be a good thing. Even NFCU is growing out of control; opening up its membership to everyone, both Navy folks and others not affiliated with the Navy Department (including our Brothers in Arms, the Marines).

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