WASHINGTON (5/20/14)--A large majority of U.S. military service personnel worry about their income and job security, according to a National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) survey, which was administered in recognition of Military Appreciation Month.
More than 75% of the servicemembers polled worry about their finances, while 57% said they're very concerned that defense cuts and downsizing may jeopardize their salaries and jobs.
Conducted last month, the NFCC polled 267 adults ages 18 and older who are currently enlisted members of the U.S. military.
"Unfortunately, the survey findings indicate ongoing financial concerns for many military families," said Joe Freeman, CEO of Pioneer Services, the division of MidCountry Bank that sponsored the survey.
The survey also found that 28% of service people are more concerned than they were a year ago about how their financial situations will affect their future in the military. Additionally, 55% reported feeling unprepared for a financial emergency.
Further, three out of five servicemembers who took out loans over the last year said that limited lending options forced them to look for alternative, non-traditional lenders to meet their financial needs.
"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," Freeman said.
The military survey was also compared with a similar NFCC poll posed to the general public. The comparison found that 25% more servicemembers carry over credit card debt month-to-month than those from the general public.
The comparison also revealed that twice as many military personnel applied for new credit cards in the last 12 months than civilians.