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Veteran Debt Statistics & Personal Finance Resources

Results from a poll of 700 US military service members and 100 military spouses revealed surprising information. Veteran personal finances differed on several levels compared to civilian finances. Learn more about Veteran debt statistics and the results of the poll.

ACCC can help veterans pay off debt.

ACCC can help veterans pay off debt.

Veteran Debt Statistics and Credit Card Debt

Let’s jump into the results of the Veteran debt statistics:

  • 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.

No matter who you are, consumer debt can take over your finances. However, military personnel and their families face unique financial circumstances. If you are or were in the military and carrying debt, you may be wondering about consolidation or debt reduction. Consolidation loans for military personnel are one way to help get your finances back on track.

Learn more about it in this article Consolidation Loans for Military Personnel.

Full Results of Veteran Debt Statistics

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


  • 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 a 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.


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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