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Week of 9.14.07

Financial Pressures on Military Families

In addition to the emotional strain of separation endured by military families, many also experience financial strain. Below are some indicators of the financial squeeze facing active-duty military families.

  • The number of military families seeking emergency assistance from a military charity doubled in the first few months of 2007.

  • Active-duty military personnel are three times more likely than civilians to have taken out a "payday loan"—a cash advance on the borrower's next paycheck.

  • The number of military families seeking emergency assistance from a military charity doubled in the first few months of 2007.

  • Payday loans and other high-interest loans often leave the service member with enormous debt, family problems and a tarnished career, according to the Department of Defense.

  • The number of military families seeking emergency assistance from a military charity doubled in the first few months of 2007.

  • Three in 10 active-duty military families reported having trouble paying bills in the previous year, according to a 2004 survey.

  • The number of military families seeking emergency assistance from a military charity doubled in the first few months of 2007.

  • More than 1 in 5 active-duty military families had to apply for food stamps or Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) aid from the government.

  • The number of military families seeking emergency assistance from a military charity doubled in the first few months of 2007.

  • Approximately 16,000 active duty members of the U.S. military file for bankruptcy each year.

Sources:

Center for Responsible Lending: Payday Lenders Target the Military, September 2005 [pdf]

Department of the Defense: Report on Predatory Lending Practices Directed at Members of the Armed Forces and Their Dependents, August 2006 [pdf]

The Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, Harvard University: Military Families Survey, 2004 [pdf]

Operation Homefront: Operation Homefront Sees Caseload Double, May 2007

Government Accounting Office: Military Personnel: Bankruptcy Filings among Active Duty Service Members, February 2004 [pdf]