NEW YORK and ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), in partnership with Better Business Bureau (BBB), today launched a free mobile app designed to help America's military families make better personal decisions to ensure their financial independence. The Military & Money App is the first financial educational app that provides service members and their spouses easy-to-use and practical money management tips, including tools to reduce debt and maximize savings.
"Many of our military personnel are young and inexperienced with money management, and their finances are impacted disproportionately by long deployments, protracted family separation and frequent moves," said Brenda Linnington, Director, BBB Military Line. "This free, independent resource offers unbiased information tailored to address the unique personal finance issues that confront our men and women in uniform, and can help them make better informed decisions about money."
"The brave men and women of our Armed Forces make selfless sacrifices every day to protect our freedoms," said Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The McGraw-Hill Companies. "Today, we underscore our appreciation by supporting their financial independence and security."
"While many military families are thriving, common stressors can further erode their resilience...[I]n surveys conducted by the Department of Defense (DOD), military families have listed personal financial management as number two in their list of biggest sources of stress," according to Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America's Commitment, a report commissioned by President Obama in 2010 and released last year.Military service members are often the targets of consumer fraud and high-interest predatory loans, and are heavily indebted, especially to credit card issuers. According to a 2010 survey by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, 27 percent of military respondents had $10,000 or more in credit card debt compared with 16 percent of civilians. The survey also found "as many as one in three of enlisted personnel and junior NCOs reported using at least one method of non-bank borrowing [such as a predatory loan] in the past five years, compared with 24 percent of civilians." Key features of the app include training videos on budgeting and managing debt, calculators to track cash flow and build savings and debt reduction plans, and a prompt that sends monthly savings reminders.