In late May the United States Office of Service Member Affairs released a report detailing the types of complaints US military personnel and their families have made about financial services and products.
Many of the issues identified in the US report are very similar to those which also arise in Australia.
This provides a timely reminder for ADF members and their families to be careful with their financial transactions. A summary of all the US complaints is shown in the table:
In relation to debt collection, 41% of complaints involved the continued attempt to collect debt not owed. For example, the debt was discharged in bankruptcy, the debt resulted from identity theft, the debt was paid or debt is not mine.
In relation to mortgages, 53% of complaints were about the inability to make loan repayments. Typical problems were an inability to modify the loan and even foreclosure.
73% of credit reporting problems involved incorrect information on a credit report.
Disputes about billing were the biggest problem with credit cards especially frustration with fee assessments during deployments or mandatory moves.
For bank accounts and service complaints 46% of issues were about account opening, closing or management. For example, confusing marketing, denial, disclosure, fees, closure, interest, statements and joint accounts.
ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre