Military service members display financial readiness during COVID-19 as borrowing activity increases


National Foundation for Credit Counseling

By clearly outlining the unique financial challenges of military families and veterans, our survey presents a roadmap that helps us take action based on the areas most in need.

Members of the armed forces, their spouses and veterans are no exception when it comes to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and financial well-being. According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) Military Financial Readiness Survey 2020, sponsored by Wells Fargo and conducted by Harris Poll, it is clear among military households that their job training has prepared them better. to crisis management in the past. year. With continued reliance on an uncertain odd-job economy and a trend towards increased reliance on borrowing, military and veteran populations see a distinct mix of challenges and opportunities in personal finances.

While nearly three-quarters of military personnel and more than half of veterans attribute their military training to their pandemic preparedness, more active-duty military households have been financially affected by COVID-19 than veterans and other members of the military. general population. This level of preparedness can be useful as reliance on the odd-job economy remains high for military households at a time when the private sector economy has not fully recovered from the initial impact of the pandemic.

“Financial preparedness for military and veterans has been at the heart of our work from the very beginning,” said Rebecca Steele, President and CEO of the NFCC. “By clearly outlining the unique financial challenges facing military families and veterans, our survey presents a roadmap that helps us take action based on the areas most in need. “

Main Findings of the Survey for Military Households and Veterans

The COVID-19 pandemic may be a contributing factor to the increase in the use of payday loans, as 52% reported difficulty finding adequate loan options during the pandemic.

  • Military members on active duty are more than twice as likely to have taken out a cash advance or payday loan in 2020 than in 2019.

Complications from Permanent Change of Position (PCS) moves during the pandemic may have contributed to the employment problems of military spouses and destabilized their employment status.

  • 1 in 5 military spouses said they were not at all financially prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many military personnel report positive financial behaviors despite the challenges they face.

  • Over half (56%) of active duty military personnel report keeping a budget.

While many veterans are confident in their ability to meet their financial commitments, some express concern.

  • Almost half of all ex-combatants (49%) would like more information on financial resources specifically intended for ex-combatants, and a similar number (50%) feel that there are not enough financial resources available specifically for veterans.

“The pandemic has amplified the need for more affordable sources of credit for military personnel who may face income gaps,” said Darlene Goins, head of financial health philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “With support from Wells Fargo, the NFCC is offering free access to financial coaching to help military households plan, create a budget and prepare for future emergencies. Ultimately, the goal is to create a safe space to overcome financial challenges. “

Support for military families and veterans from nonprofit NFCC counseling agencies can be found by calling 877-404-6322 or visiting

About the CNFC

Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) is the nation’s first and largest non-profit organization dedicated to improving the financial well-being of people. With a nationwide network of member offices serving 50 states and Puerto Rico, our NFCC® Certified Credit Counselors are financial advocates, empowering millions of consumers to take charge of their finances through individual financial reviews that deal with debt. credit card, student loans, housing decisions and overall money management. Make one of the best financial decisions of your life. For expert advice and guidance, call (800) 388-2227 or visit today.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company is a leading financial services company with approximately $ 1.9 trillion in assets and proudly serves one in three U.S. households and over 10% of all mid-market businesses in the United States. We offer a diverse set of banking, investing and mortgage services. products and services, as well as consumer and business finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Personal Banking and Loans; The Commercial Bank; Corporate and investment banking; and Wealth and Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 30 in the Fortune 2020 ranking of America’s Largest Companies. In the communities we serve, the business is focusing its social impact on building a sustainable and inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health and a low-emission economy. carbon. Wells Fargo news, ideas and insights are also available on Wells Fargo Stories.

Additional information can be found at | Twitter: @WellsFargo.

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