Military Members Face Financial Weakness

Differences can be seen between military and general population

Veteran Women and SpousesThe National Foundation for Credit Counseling recently conducted a survey that shows many members of the military face financial weaknesses. The survey finds that a significant difference can be seen between military members and the general population.

Some of the survey findings:

  • 77% of military members have financial worries, and about 57% expressed concern about the potential loss of income and job security as a result of defense cuts and downsizing.
  • 28% are more concerned about their finances than they were one year ago about how their financial situation will affect their future in the military.
  • About 55% don’t feel prepared for an emergency.
  • Roughly 49% have taken out a loan in the past year, which included sources such as a credit card (18%), friends and family (13%), or a cash advance or payday lender (6%).

Furthermore, NFCC’s 2014 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey shows differences among military members’ financial behaviors and the general population:

  • More service members (28% service members compared with 14% of the general population) have applied for a new credit card in the last year.
  • About 58% (six in 10) carry a credit card balance from month to month compared to the general population, where only about one in three (34%) carry credit card debt each month.
  • Twice as many have paid less than the minimum required payment in the last year (6% vs. 3%).
  • Military members were more than twice as likely to obtain a cash advance from a credit card in the last year (5% versus 2%).

If you’re a military member experiencing financial difficulties, check out the NFCC’s Sharpen Your Financial Focus program.

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