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Troops to get more financial education opportunities

Sep. 16, 2013 - 05:15PM   |  
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NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. — A federal regulator aims to add financial education for troops at “bookend points” — before they enter service and after they leave.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is working on an initiative to provide financial education to troops in the time between when they make their commitment to join the military and when they start their basic training, said Holly Petraeus, CFPB’s assistant director for the Office of Servicemember Affairs. She spoke about CFPB initiatives at the Air Force Association’s Spouse and Family Forum held Sept. 16.

Basic training may not be the place for financial classes, she said, given everything else recruits are going through. These days, she said, there may be a period of months to more than a year between the time a recruit signs enlistment papers and ships out for basic training.

At the other end of the career spectrum, CFPB has announced a program of financial coaching services for veterans who have just left service. While the Defense Department works with troops until the day they walk out the door — to include the Transition Assistance Program, which features financial education — CFPB wants to have financial counselors to work with them “on the other side,” Petraeus said.

Beginning in 2014, financial coaches will be placed in areas nationwide at locations CFPB identifies in collaboration with other federal agencies. The sites will be selected based on need and veteran population density, according to an earlier blog post by Petraeus.

A draft solicitation was issued this summer.

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