Savings and Debt

Savings and Debt

1. Credit Unions

The Ministry of Defence works closely with three credit unions under the banner of Joining Forces and has facilitated direct salary sacrifice via JPA to encourage saving and to make loan repayment simpler. Joining Forces are proactively providing impartial financial advice through visits to units and bases across the country and most importantly strive to offer the most appropriate product to Service personnel.


Credit Unions are not there to make a profit and have a proven track record of ethical lending and better in many instances levels of interest for savings.


Because credit unions are not-for-profit, the annual percentage rate (APR) is much lower than banks or payday loan lenders. Typical APR for a credit union is around 12 per cent, whereas for a payday loan it can be up to 1,500 per cent.


The three Service Providers are:

2. Start saving

Saving money – whether this is for a rainy day, first home or a special treat. It is often easier said than done. It can seem difficult to know how much to save for how long it’ll take. You can find information from Money Helper, who also have a great savings calculator.

3. Supporting charities
Naval Children's Charity (NCC)

Key Role: Providing financial support for Naval Service children

Formerly known as the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund, the Naval Children’s Charity (NCC) provides grants and support to children whose parents serve or have served in the Naval Service (up to and including the age of 25).  Support ranges from grants in their Emergency Essentials Grant Scheme to larger grants for more complex needs around disability and illness.  Every situation is considered individually.

Royal British Legion (RBL)

Key Role: Fundraising and grant-making, advice and guidance, support to families

The Royal British Legion (RBL) provides lifelong support for the Armed Forces community – Serving personnel (Regulars and Reservists), veterans, and their families. They provide information, advice and guidance to help the Armed Forces community find and access the support they need.

The Legion provides families of serving and ex-Service personnel the chance to take a break and get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life through their Family Holiday Breaks scheme. They also run Adventure Breaks for young people, so that they can enjoy themselves, meet new people, have new experiences, improve their self-esteem and most of all have fun, while giving parents a well-earned break.

Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT)

Key Role: Providing financial support

The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT) gives help, in cases of need, to serving and former Royal Naval ratings and Royal Marines other ranks, which includes Reservists. They also help their partners, children and some others connected with them. They make grants to assist in a very wide variety of circumstances, such as help towards living expenses, house repairs, disability aids, job training, all sorts of financial difficulties, care home top-up fees, domiciliary care and much more.

The Association of Royal Navy Officers (RNOC)

Key Role: Financial support

The Association of Royal Navy Officers (RNOC) exists to ‘Provide relief to persons in need (whether or not members of the society) being officers and former officers of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines and Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service and officers and former officers on the Reserve Lists, together with their spouses, widows, widowers, families and dependants.’


Every year, they provide one-off grants and long-term financial support. They treat every case that comes in on its merits, then provide funding to meet the person’s specific needs and situation.

Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC)

Key Role: Fundraising and grant-making

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) is the principal charity of the Royal Navy. The charity exists to support sailors, marines and their families, for life. Since 2007, they have funded projects and facilities that boost morale for those who serve today. They also distribute millions of pounds annually to military charities which care for the children, families and veterans of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.


In practical terms, the RNRMC is a fundraising and grant-making charity. This means it delivers its charitable outputs through dispensing grants to:

  • Other Naval charities
  • Military charities
  • Other charities with Naval beneficiaries
  • Ships, units and personnel of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and Auxiliaries
  • Individual serving personnel and veterans through the RNOC and RMCTF
RMA – Royal Marines Charity

The RMA – Royal Marines Charity provides support, advice and friendship to serving and retired Royal Marines, their families, those who aspire to join and those with close links to our Corps.


They offer a range of assistance for their beneficiaries. This includes mental health support, respite breaks, bespoke careers advice, grants to help with financial difficulty and getting about inside and outside the home.

Seafarers’ Charity/ SAIL

Key Role: Fundraising and grant-making

The Seafarers’ Charity’s vision is to create ‘a world where seafarers and their families are valued and free of need and disadvantage’.

They do this this by giving grants to organisations and projects that make a real difference to people’s lives, across the Merchant Navy, Fishing Fleets, Royal Navy and Royal Marines.



Key Role: Advice and guidance

Seafarers’ Advice and Information Line (SAIL) is a completely free and confidential advice service dedicated to all seafarers and their families across the UK, including topics such as benefits, money worries, charity grants and pensions.

SAIL is run by Citizens Advice Greenwich. It’s funded by Seafarers Hospital Society, The Seafarers’ Charity, and Greenwich Hospital.


Key Role: Fundraising and grant-making, advice and guidance, support to families

SSAFA is the Armed Forces charity, formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.


SSAFA provides lifelong support to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served in the UK Armed Forces (Regulars and Reserves) and their families.


They have a network of trained volunteers on military bases in the UK and around the world who can give you local support. They provide a range of personalised services, including welfare advice, housing and healthcare, and signposting to organisations that offer more specialised support.


SSAFA Forcesline is a free and confidential telephone helpline and email service that provides support for the Armed Forces community. As an independent charity, SSAFA is not part of the military Chain of Command. The team are there to listen and not to judge.

Posted on: 3rd November, 2022