June 12, 2019
A recent survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) finds that a growing number of military families are struggling financially:
- The number not paying their bills on time has doubled since 2014.
- More than twice as many are now turning to high-cost payday loans to make ends meet.
Bruce McClary, a vice president at the NFCC want service members and their families to know that they have other, lower-cost options.
"Payday loans are not the answer for members of the military," McClary said. "They're an expensive, high-fee, high-interest alternative that may be able to provide funds, but there's a significant cost that's really unnecessary considering all the other directions they could be turning when they have a need to borrow money."
The Army Emergency Relief, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and the Air Force Society all offer low or no-interest short-term loans for those in need.
"They can offer guidance, as well as payday loan alternatives, short-term borrowing that's much more affordable than turning to a private payday lender," McClary said.
Every base has a Financial Readiness Center where you can get advice from a personal financial counselor. These PFCs are trained to handle short-term problems, but they can provide helpful referrals.