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by Jesse Campbell on May 20, 2014

Military family struggling financially

May is Military Appreciation Month. In recognition of that fact, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) recently commissioned a survey of military personnel, focused on financial trends and concerns. The survey revealed some troubling financial behaviors among servicemembers.

  • Seventy-seven percent of servicemembers have financial worries, and more than half (57 percent) say they are very worried about the potential loss of income and job security resulting from defense cuts and downsizing.
  • Twenty-eight percent are now more worried than they were 12 months ago about how their financial situation will affect their future in the military.
  • A majority (55 percent) believe they are ill-prepared, financially speaking, for an emergency.
  • Three out of five servicemembers who have taken a loan in the past 12 months say limited lending options required them to look for alternative, non-traditional lenders to meet their financial needs.
  • Nearly half of servicemembers (49 percent) have taken out a loan in the past 12 months, which included sources such as a credit card (18 percent), friends and family (13 percent), or cash advance or payday lender (6 percent).

“Men and women in uniform face many challenges and daily sacrifices while serving our country. Financial concerns shouldn’t be one of them. The NFCC is committed to ensuring that members of the military, veterans and their families have access to the financial tools and information they need to live a financially stable life,” said Susan C. Keating, NFCC President and CEO. “NFCC member agencies are proud to assist military personnel through the Sharpen Your Financial Focus program which includes a dedicated military-specific component.”

When comparing the military population’s financial behaviors against the general U.S. adult population, a number of concerning differences were noted:

  • Servicemembers are twice as likely to have applied for a new credit card in the last 12 months.
  • Approximately 58 percent of servicemembers carry some credit card debt from month to month, while only 34 percent of the general population carries debt in this manner.
  • Servicemembers were more than twice as likely to obtain a cash advance from a credit card in the last 12 months.

“Unfortunately, the survey findings indicate on-going financial concerns for many military families,” said Joe Freeman, the CEO of Pioneer Services, which sponsored the survey. “We’ve worked with servicemembers for more than 25 years, so we know they are responsible borrowers who deserve financial options. It is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that military families have access to the same credit options many civilians take for granted, and to financial education resources that help empower them to make the right decisions.”


diane choquette says:
May 22, 2014
Website: google

my son has been in the military for twenty something years and he still has not enough money too take care of 2 older children and 2 young children and going to the grocery store eats all there money. and then too cloth the 2 youngest. I have seen them max out credit cards. they struggle every day of their life. searved 1 year in Kosovo and more than 3 years in Iraq and 1year in aphganistan went too college got his accociats degree. it took him 10 years to get it and now going for2 more years online. his wife has been with him every inch of the way. I am so proud of them. thank you both for everthing. good luck and also to my 4 grandchildren. ilove you.

Tom says:
March 22, 2015

Since financial education is not taught in schools, everyone, military and civilian, need to spend time to educate themself on how to manage their money and invest. With looming cutbacks, it is imperative that military members learn to handle their finances. Going from high school or college and earning thousands or dollars is different for most military members. This is why financial education is necessary.

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