FINVET: a one-stop financial resource for veterans

FINVET: a one-stop financial resource for veterans

As a clinical psychologist for the VA, Dr. Eric Elbogen would ask veterans what their goals were and what they wanted to work on. “Many, many of them said, ‘I want to get out of debt.’ ‘I want to make a budget.’ ‘I want to get a job that means something to me,’” he shared during a Department of Veterans Affairs meeting with veteran service organizations.

Working in mental health, Elbogen started researching the connection between financial well-being and mental health well-being. “A lot of research shows that financial issues relate to suicide attempts, completed suicide and suicide ideation.”

The VA did a study with veterans that at the beginning asked what their protective factors were (work/employment, money for basic needs, housing stability, social support, self-care, etc.). A year later, they were asked about their risk of suicide.

“The more protective factors veterans had in the beginning translated to a 92% drop one year later in reporting suicide ideation,” Elbogen said. “It’s so important to help veterans have financial stability, social support and other protective factors in their lives.”

This resulted in the VA creating a one-stop resource for veterans to earn money, save money and protect their money – FINVET.

Launched this past March, FINVET helps veterans navigate their financial journey to: 

Pay for essentials: housing, food, clothing, transportation

Save more money: budgeting, available discounts, lower impulse buys

Increase income: employment, investing, VA benefits

Manage debt: build credit and lower medical, legal and utility bills

Protect money: avoid scams, create safe bank accounts, plan for the future

Elbogen said something many veterans don’t know about is that they are entitled to one free consultation session with a financial counselor or credit counselor. This information, along with videos of veterans using FINVET and how they achieved financial well-being that led to mental health recovery, are all available on the website.