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Military families struggle with high debt and unemployment

According to a recent media report, there are many military families, such as those residing in Texas, battling credit card debt. Even the financial benefits of active-duty service members are often not enough to offer military families the relief they need.

Some of the laws that do exist for men and women actively serving in the military include additional combat pay, housing allowances and exemptions from income tax. However, the financial difficulties associated with a soldier's multiple deployments and the frequency of moving the family make it difficult for the spouse to locate new work opportunities. A new military post means the non-soldier spouse must look for a new job.

Sources state that, "A 2010 military survey found that 27 percent of service members said they had more than $10,000 in credit card debt, while 16 percent of civilians do." Another finding was that over one-third of these families have trouble paying for their bills each month. More than 20 percent of military families will seek money from external sources.

If these problems are not enough, the unemployment rate among military spouses is really high compared to the national unemployment rate, of about 26 percent, says a report by nonprofit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Military families and other consumers can benefit from financial counseling and perhaps even restructuring debt. The laws in the U.S. offer different forms of debt relief, including how to get out from under staggering credit card obligations. It is a matter of choosing the right option after receiving qualified financial advice.

Source: Statesman.com, "Financial struggles common among military families," March 25, 2012

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