Veterans, others can get benefits directly on their debit cards

Veterans, others can get benefits directly on their debit cards. According to a report from the Treasury Department, it will soon expand its efforts to allow more people who receive federal benefits payments automatically and electronically. Its broadened direct deposit marketing program is tied to its MasterCard Direct Express prepaid debit cards, and may help eligible consumers avoid taking on credit card debt.

While the direct deposit option is currently available to those receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security benefits, it will soon be expanded to people who get payments from Veterans Affairs, the Railroad Retirement Board and other federal benefits programs.

The program's expansion eliminates the need for benefit receivers to wait for their check to arrive and then clear, which will cut down on the amount of time they are without additional funds, and therefore may help them avoid additional credit card debt.

Many consumers have taken on more credit card debt as a means of making ends meet as they ran into financial problems.