CFPB: Veterans have pathway from financial skill to financial well-being, analysis of survey finds — yet questions remain

Veterans report higher levels of financial well-being than the average U.S. adult, and there is a pathway from financial skill to that well being, an analysis released Tuesday stated.

The evaluation released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) focused on veterans that responded to a financial well-being survey in 2015. Those results also were the base for the bureau’s financial well-being scale developed in 2016.

The agency said that, although the 2015 survey was not specifically targeted to veterans and was not a nationally representative sample, a sizeable number of respondents identified as veterans. The CFPB analyzed the veteran responses to produce the research brief released Tuesday.

The bureau said it found that veterans reported higher levels of financial well-being than the average U.S. adult. It noted that an analysis of the veteran survey responses found evidence that financial skills (e.g. making a budget, not overspending, etc.) “is positively associated with financial behavior, which is also positively associated with financial situation and higher levels of financial well-being. This analysis suggests that, for veterans, there is a pathway from financial skill to financial well-being. “

CFBP also said that its analysis also found that found that veterans, like other U.S. adults, have financial experiences that are negatively associated with financial well-being, including student loan debt, using non-bank, short-term credit products and being contacted by a debt collector. “Similar to the Bureau’s analysis of survey respondents for the U.S. adult population as a whole, veterans reported a wide range of financial well-being scores,” the agency stated.

The study raised additional questions however, the bureau stated. “For example, the study does not answer whether the higher financial well-being scores for veterans are related to military service or are related to the demographic, attitudinal, and situational characteristics of the veteran that would be similar in non-veterans who shared those characteristics. Further research is necessary to discern whether the associated characteristics and experiences identified herein are truly related to military service,” the report states.

Financial Well-Being of Veterans