Military Families Cash Crisis "Financial Mail on Sunday"

This is from the "Financial Mail"

Britain's service personnel & their families are facing a financial crisis. Military households make up one of the biggest single professional groups in figures for individual voluntary arrangements-an alternative to bankruptcy. And service households with severe debt problems owe more unsecured debt than their civilian counterparts, despite being less likely to have a mortgage. Figures from the public insolvency register, processed by the University of Wales and credit information group Experian, show that only 0.17% of all households are housed in military quarters, yet they account for between 1.5% & 2% of all households with IVAs. The average debt of military households is bigger, too, according to Andrew Smith of ClearDebt, one of the leading IVA providers. 'The average unsecured consumer debt, not counting mortgages, of service people and immediate family members in difficulties is £31,619, against a UK average of £26,003,' he said.

Link to Experian.

Link to ClearDebt.

The most debt I had over 20years service was £8000, & that was for a Car, but one of the J/NCOs I new had over £36,000. & his wife did claim bankruptcy, this was in 2003.
My limited understanding is that RAO may often "suggest" an IVA, rather than bankruptcy.

According to the Tankie, since the Army can no longer manage a soldier's finances as they used to do (withholding for debtors, etc.), this may unfortunately become a growing problem when you combine a young soldier's sh!tty pay with the increasing artificial need to keep up with the Joneses, cost of living in Britain, etc.

Often, by the time the debt is presented to the RAO, there's probably little choice left BUT an IVA. But steering soldiers toward one earlier could be seen as a proactive solution rather than a measure of irresponsibility. Everyone's got debt now, and civvies are just as guilty of spending needlessly.

But still: £31K average? Sh!t, we've got loads to go! :D

Edit to add: all of the above covered by standard talking-out-of-a$$ disclaimer

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