WASHINGTON (7/15/14)--It might pain citizens to learn that those who put their lives on the line for this country, specifically people serving in the U.S. military, often grapple with various types of financial strife.
A recent survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) found that 77% of servicemembers worry about their finances; 55% do not feel at all, or only somewhat, prepared to handle a financial emergency; and 60% had sought out nontraditional lenders to meet financial obligations on at least one occasion.
"No one should be victimized by financial abuse, particularly (those in) the military," said Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the NFCC, which announced it is celebrating Military Consumer Protection Day Wednesday.
"One way to avoid financial abuse is through financial education, as an educated consumer is always a better consumer--one more-equipped to identify fraud or deception and make wise financial decisions," Cunningham added.
To bolster financial literacy within the military community, the NFCC offers the "Sharpen Your Financial Focus" program, which includes "Hands on Banking for Military" materials developed for active and veteran military members that address the unique financial challenges they often face.
"Stressful situations can result in poor choices, with decisions often made out of desperation," Cunningham said. "To avoid this, servicemembers should take advantage of the opportunity to improve their financial skills, thus putting themselves in a better position to face any unplanned financial circumstance that comes their way."