6/25/14

Serving Transitioning Vets’ Financial Needs

A diverse group of organizations today announced the formation of a new coalition to serve the needs and unique financial challenges military veterans face when returning to civilian life. The Veterans Financial Coalition announced its formation with initial members the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®), Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Visa Inc.

The coalition comes together with a shared mission of improving the financial security and well-being of our nation’s growing population of veterans.

Service members have many consumer protections and financial support systems available to them while in the military, but once they separate from service, many no longer have access to critical resources and protections tailored to service members. Most military personnel have both a mortgage and at least one credit card, and are more likely to carry debt than civilians. Reintegrating into civilian life may bring fresh financial challenges, such as finding a job or facing a prolonged period of unemployment. In fact, 60 percent of veterans recently reported that translating their military service to the civilian job market was a significant challenge.

To meet the needs of veterans reentering civilian life, the Veterans Financial Coalition has three key goals: educate veterans and the community organizations that serve them; research and advocate for consumer protections for veterans; and raise awareness for veterans’ financial needs. Coalition members are committing to these shared goals through individual development and delivery of new resources, programs and research.

The coalition is also launching www.VeteransFinancialCoalition.com which will serve as a clearinghouse of important personal finance resources provided by coalition members for veterans. The website will serve as a hub of free resources, ranging from educational games and guides, consumer protection brochures, training program information, and research.

Additionally, Consumer Action will create a comprehensive education module and host a series of training programs for community based organizations in cities with large veteran populations. The first two programs will be held in San Diego, CA and Virginia Beach, VA this September.