New "Break the Debt Cycle" training program aimed at helping military families

Pioneer Services Representatives are now more capable than ever to assist service members with reducing their debt and making smart choices with their money by virtue of a new, internal certification process. More than 85 percent of all Pioneer Services Representatives are now certified "Break the Debt Cycle Specialists" and can help military families analyze debt, find ways to reduce that debt, and how to minimize debt in the future.  Training continues for the remaining percentage of associates with the objective of 100 percent trained specialists in offices helping military families.

"It may seem counter-intuitive for a company that helps customers obtain loans," says Randy McKee, president and senior Pioneer Services Representative, "but we truly believe that installment debt is a more responsible, manageable form of debt, especially for those in the military, because it offers a disciplined repayment schedule. This certification is just the beginning of a process that we believe will help countless service members get out of, or avoid all together, the crushing weight and downward spiral of bad debt."

Pioneer Services Representatives had to learn a number of key concepts to earn the certification, including the true impact of high credit card debt with minimum payments, how poor savings habits can lead to bad credit decisions, and steps that can prevent future financial problems. All of these concepts, as well as others, will then be passed onto service members who visit a Pioneer Services office in search of financial education.

"Having our associates earn the certification is just the first step," said McKee. "The next step is to certify at least 1,000 service members on how to break the debt cycle."

The customer-based certification process will include a free financial education course that will teach the concepts of debt management, budgeting, and what to look for when making a borrowing decision. There is also an educational pamphlet and e-book that service members can use as resources as they start to take control over their finances.

"Having the customer certifications means there will be 1,000 members of the Armed Forces who know how to better manage their debt, thus giving them one less thing to worry about," said McKee. "They've got enough responsibility, and money should be the last thing they're worrying about."