By Debbie Gregory.
While many veterans are a bit ahead of their civilian counterparts when it comes to money, they still struggle with credit card debt and timely mortgage payments.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Foundation’s recent study included more than 3,000 veterans and 23,000 non-veterans.
There are approximately 22 million military U.S. veterans in America, representing more than 8% of the U.S. population
The study found that veterans are 22% less likely to be unemployed than civilians and slightly more likely to be covered by health insurance.
But many veterans are underwater on their mortgages, and are more likely to carry a balance and to be charged a late payment fee on their credit cards.
These findings tend to vary within subsections of the veteran population: Air Force veterans are 19% less likely to report having difficulty covering their expenses than Army veterans; veterans who left the military 10 or more years ago are 43% less likely to report an unexpected drop in income than those who left the military in the last year; and veterans who retired from the military are 14% less likely to report difficulty covering their expenses than those who did not retire from the military.
There are resources for veterans who need them — the National Association of American Veterans and U.S. Soldiers Foundation help them access health benefits and finances, and USA Cares aims to help veterans prevent foreclosure/eviction and provides financial aid — some 30% of veterans in the survey said they’d gone over their credit limit, bounced or forged a check, been reported to a collection agency, or fallen victim to a money scam within the last year.