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Veteran Debt Statistics

**Statistics based on survey of 700 US military service members and 100 military spouses.**

  • When asked about their satisfaction with their current financial situation…
    • 19% are dissatisfied
    • 26% are satisfied
    • 55% are neutral

 

Bills and expenses

  • Over the past year, household expenses (excluding big investments), have been greater than the income for 7% of respondents and was about equal for 31%.
  • Of junior enlisted members, 11% wrote bounced checks.
  • 12% of junior enlisted members reported having telephone, cable or internet cut off, while 3% had water, electricity or heat shut off.
  • Another 12% of junior enlisted members got a payday loan.

Home ownership and mortgages

  • 51% of military respondents reported owning a home compared with 57% of civilians.
  • Compared to 64% of civilians, 93% of all military homeowners reported having a mortgage.
  • Of mortgage borrowers, 10% reported being late on a payment at least one in the last two years.
  • Additionally, 14% of military respondents reported having both a mortgage and a credit card balance of $10,000 or more.

Retirement

  • 72% of military respondents have a retirement plan via employer and41%have other retirement accounts. Of those with self-directed retirement accounts…
    • 9% have taken out a loan from their defined contribution plan during the past year
    • 6% have taken a permanent hardship withdrawal from their definite contribution plan

emergency funds

  • Only 50% of military respondents reported that they had set aside funds sufficient to cover expenses for three months in case of emergency.
  • 52% of enlisted personnel and 32% of officers reported not saving at all. 

CReDit Cards

  • 91% of military families have at least one credit card, compared to only 69% of civilians.
  • Compared to 26% of civilians,36% have at least four credit cards
    • 41% of these have $5,000 or more in credit card debt, compared to only 28% of civilians.
    • 27% have $10,000 or more in credit card debt while only 16% of civilians do.
    • 10% have $20,000 or more in credit card debt, compared to 7% of civilians.
  • Of respondents with at least one card in the last 12 months, only 25% of enlisted personnel always paid their credit card in full, compared with 41% of civilians.  

American Consumer Credit Counseling is a non-profit credit counseling and debt management center for individuals and families who want to settle credit card debt and learn to live life debt free. In our free counseling sessions, our certified credit counselors help consumers make a debt reduction plan for eliminating credit card debt over a period of time – usually five years or less. After reviewing a client’s financial situation, counselors work with consumers to find the best path to credit card debt elimination. This may involve providing education about credit card debt and bankruptcy, comparing debt consolidation vs chapter 13 bankruptcy or debt settlement services, and answering basic debt reduction and debt consolidation questions, such as “what is credit counseling?” and “how can I protect my credit score?”

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