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Military personnel worried about their jobs

Military personnel struggle with finances, new polls say, and are worried about possible defense budget cuts.
Michael De Groote, Deseret News Modified: May 19, 2014 at 10:53 pm •  Published: May 22, 2014

They serve their country and many put their lives on the line to preserve liberty. But now several surveys looking at money and military families found that financial freedom is elusive for service members.

A survey released May 19 by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 77 percent of service members have financial worries. More than half (57 percent) are worried that defense cuts and downsizing could end up costing them their jobs.

"Men and women in uniform face many challenges and daily sacrifices while serving our country," said Susan C. Keating, NFCC president and CEO, in a statement. "Financial concerns shouldn't be one of them."

But, the survey found, service members are twice as likely to have applied for a credit card in the last year than civilians (28 percent versus 14 percent). And they are carrying balances more than civilians as well (58 percent versus 34 percent).

They were also twice as likely to have paid less than the minimum payment on a loan or credit card in the last year.

A poll from Blue Star Families last month found similar statistics: "Sixty-four percent of respondents said they had 'experienced stress related to their families' current financial condition.’ ”

The Blue Star Families survey also looked at the obstacles service members have to financial security. Forty-nine percent said "spouse employment" is a problem. Another 40 percent said frequent moves made it hard on their finances.

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