Please visit the new home of Majikthise at

« Joe goes loco | Main | Where'd Joe's dough go?--we still don't know »

October 24, 2006

Predatory lending saves lives: Troops may owe too much to serve

CHECKMATE!, originally uploaded by Robotclaw666.

Thousands of US troops cannot be deployed overseas because they are too deep in debt. Security clearances can be revoked when debt payments amount to more than 30% of a soldier's salary:

Between 2002 and 2005, more than 6000 troops lost their security clearances to debt.

Financial problems are the overwhelming reason security clearances are revoked. Other reasons include criminal activity, questionable allegiance and ill health. A key reason the military revokes clearances on financial grounds is the fear that soldiers in debt might be tempted to sell secrets or equipment to the enemy.

Also, "when they are over there fighting, we like them to have their heads in the game," said Maj. Gen. Michael Lehnert, commander of Marine Corps bases in the western United States. "We like to have them . . . not worrying about whether or not they are going to be able to make the mortgage payment or car payment."


You would think that the authorities would be equally concerned about the growing number of military families patronizing food banks. It's hard to "keep your head in the game" when you know that your kids are lining up at a soup kitchen at home.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Predatory lending saves lives: Troops may owe too much to serve:


Holy triple posts batman!

Obviously, some layabout troops don't grasp the meaning of "the free market". If their training had been contracted out to the A.E.I., we'd probably be winning this war now.

Privatize the military? They might actually be paid better and get better benefits, though bought armies have been problems in past wars.

"Privatize the military? They might get paid better and get better benefits..."

As indeed they would if Congress decided to pay them better, and give them better benefits.

I loved this. (Not the news, but the irony.) I saw this on the news the other day, that they were rotating too many troops away from hazardous areas, because they were too deeply in debt to serve. I'm thinking, see Cass: isn't the better solution to, um, pay them better and give them better benefits? But this is the administration that tried to _cut_ the troops' hazard pay and health benefits. And still people applauded this president. That was the biggest surprise to me: I always thought that, whatever else, W would have his troops' backs, because they're his bread and butter. But nope--he'd screw them too.

Soldiers overwhelmed by debt? Old story, really. High-interest loan companies are fixtures outside the gates of every military base in the country, and have been for years.
They prey on young soldiers' ignorance of financial matters, and the Pentagon helps out by keeping lenders informed about the soldiers' whereabouts and income.

The comments to this entry are closed.