Posted on Jan 24, 2021
SPC Infantryman
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My brother is thinking of joining the military but he is concerned about his mortgage because his mortgage is higher than his basic pay. In fact he would need to close be at least E5 to break even with his mortgage. I told him he can get BAH to pay his home but I am not sure if thats true. Can he receive BAH to pay his mortgage monthly?
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LTC Kevin B.
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He gets BAH if he either a) has dependents or b) is allowed by his command to live off-post and draw BAH. Otherwise, he won't get it just because he has a mortgage to pay. That's not how the military pay system works.
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SPC Signals Intelligence (Sigint) Analyst
SPC (Join to see)
1 mo
LTC Kevin B. - it's not extra pay, it's BAH or Barracks. As a Commander you still have to do what's right for the welfare of your troops, for this scenario, I agree what's best is to tell him to sell the home, but case-by-case it's commander's responsibility to look after what's best for their troops.
It's also funny you say it's not the militaries role to cover SM's debts hahaha, yes it's not, but they sure as hell can and do.

Commander's discretion.
also here's one example, if you feel I am misreading let me know.
4th page item (6)
https://home.army.mil/gordon/application/files/4015/9792/9557/Garrison_Commanders_Policy_Memorandum_No._09_-_Authorization_for_Unaccompanied_Personnel_or_Single_Soldiers_to_Reside_Off-Post.pdf
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LTC Kevin B.
LTC Kevin B.
1 mo
SPC (Join to see) - I don't see anything in there that addresses the situation mentioned above. The only way I see that this policy would even apply would be if occupancy was really high (>95%) or if the soldier's house was in the Fort Gordon area. And, that policy would only apply while stationed at Fort Gordon. If the house was elsewhere, the policy wouldn't apply. If he were to PCS away from Fort Gordon, the policy would no longer apply either. That's aligning a lots of planets, and they'd only stay aligned for a short while.
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SPC Signals Intelligence (Sigint) Analyst
SPC (Join to see)
1 mo
LTC Kevin B. - "There are examples and some post policies where pre-existing homeownership in the area would authorize BAH" I was just trying to show there is more to BAH then just CNA, Marriage, Dependents.
Such as ETPs
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LTC Kevin B.
LTC Kevin B.
1 mo
SPC (Join to see) - True, but the ETP is only a short-term solution to a long-term financial concern. It's more of a patch than a fix.
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SSG Detailed Recruiter
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If he wants to join, why not just sell his house?
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LTC Jason Mackay
LTC Jason Mackay
1 mo
SSG (Join to see) - this is logical, but assuming this person will be a PV1-PFC (no information on if he qualifies to enter as an E4), this is a high risk move to rent this property. If he can't get to the property during emergencies, he'd need a rental agency and a contingency fund for emergency repairs. Provided everyone did what they were supposed to every month, he'd still need to charge the mortgage plus the rental company fee to break even. If something breaks, he is in it out of pocket.

If the property then goes vacant, family trashes the house, or his family defaults, then he is on the hook for all of it. This would be bow string tight under the best circumstances
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SSG Eod Team Leader
SSG (Join to see)
1 mo
LTC Jason Mackay I get what you are saying. I was in a very similar situation when I joined. Mortgage had to be paid and I was PCSing to Ft. Wainwright, AK. I had to get what I could out of the house and make up the difference. I could not let it foreclose because of my security clearance.

You are right the place could get trashed, happened to me when a renter left, but I had no choice if I was going to remain in the Army.
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LTC Jason Mackay
LTC Jason Mackay
1 mo
SPC (Join to see) - slow boat option: your brother joins the ARNG or Army Reserve, then enlists AD when his contract is up (there is the option of conditional release but RP sits on a mountain of posts that this option is tough to get done). Your family has the next has a few years to sort this out. Which may eventually meet the same
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LTC Jason Mackay
LTC Jason Mackay
1 mo
SSG (Join to see) I just picture PFC unable to resource that.
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Lt Col Jim Coe
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LTC Kevin B. is right on. Compare the BAH rate at locations where your brother might be stationed to his mortgage plus taxes and insurance on the residence. Your brother may have to look at alternatives to owning a residence with such a high mortgage payment:
-Refinance the loan. Interest rates are very low right now. Might get the mortgage payment down.
-Decrease or eliminate PMI. PMI insures the lender against bowers who don't put enough down payment on a house. Usually 20% down is needed to get a conventional loan without PMI. Sometimes a refinance can get rid of PMI if there's enough equity in the home.
-Hold out long enough to refinance under VA. Service members become eligible for VA home loans after a period of service (look it up on the VA website). VA loans do not require a down payment and don't have PMI. This could allow a lower monthly payment.
-Rent the property. If the rental rates in the region are high enough to cover the mortgage and other costs of renting the property, then this might be a good choice. Plus if Brother can sustain a loss on the rental property on paper it could become a tax deduction. There is a lot of ass pain in being a landlord. I recommend talking to somebody who is a landlord in Brother's region for more insights.
-Sell the property. In many areas this might be a good choice. If Brother can break even or make a little money on the sale this might be the best idea. Not owning a house early in one's enlisted career with frequent moves and possible overseas moves or deployments can be a good idea.
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