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Resources & Tools

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.


  • 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.

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