New York and Arlington, VA, August 15, 2012 – 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.
The Military & Money App is available free on iTunes. A companion website can be found at www.militaryandmoney.com
McGraw-Hill and BBB’s collaboration is part of First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s “Joining Forces" initiative, which mobilizes all sectors of society to give U.S. service members and their families the opportunities and support they deserve. McGraw-Hill and BBB Military Line announced last year they were joining together as part of this initiative to develop and deliver expanded financial literacy and consumer protection programs to military families.
McGraw-Hill, a leading global financial information and education company, has been focused on improving financial literacy around the world for more than a decade. The company’s campaign for financial literacy recently trained 2,520 teachers to enhance the financial education of 205,000 students. BBB Military Line provides free resources to military communities in the areas of financial literacy and consumer protection through the efforts of 105 BBBs across the U.S.
Stay up-to-date on McGraw-Hill’s financial literacy campaign and receive messages on all matters personal finance related by following @FinLitNow on Twitter.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies:
McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial’s leading brands include Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/. Get news direct from McGraw-Hill via RSS.
For 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2011, consumers turned to BBB more than 100 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at www.bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 115 local, independent BBBs across the United States and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.
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