Growing List of Financial Problems Plagues Military Members

by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach on May 11, 2011

in Personal Finance

When aggressive bill collectors recently targeted members of the military with scams and over-the-top collection techniques, New York’s attorney general   issued a stern warning to debt collectors.

Unfortunately, debt collection abuses are not the only financial hazards facing military personnel and their families.

Here are four other money woes confronting those who sacrifice and serve — and what’s being done to help.

1) Housing

Even though the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reported an 18% decrease in the number of homeless veterans in 2010, the issue remains a major challenge.

“Over the course of a year, 200,000 veterans are homeless,” says Christine Truhe, founder and president of Bonds of Courage, a Summit, N.J.-based non-profit that provides educational, career and financial services to post 9/11 troops, veterans and their families.

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, about 56% of all homeless veterans are African-American and Latino, despite accounting for roughly 13% and 15% of the U.S. population, respectively.

VA Secretary Eric Shineski in 2009 made a pledge to end homelessness among veterans within five years. Following that pledge, the VA spent about $3.5 billion on homeless programs in 2010 and has asked for $4.2 billion for 2011. The VA also has a toll-free National Call Center for Homeless Veterans (877-424-3838), with trained counselors staffing the phone lines 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Read the rest of Lynnette’s article on WalletPop

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