We need your help right now to persuade the FTC to give increased credit report protections for active duty members of the military.
Active duty servicemembers are often at greater risk of identity theft and fraud because they may be deployed overseas or away from home for weeks or months at a time. In 2018, Congress passed a law to give active duty servicemembers the right to free credit monitoring services from the Big Three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).
Unfortunately, the new law only requires the credit bureaus to provide “electronic notifications” of material changes in a servicemember’s credit report, i.e., email, text, or other electronic alerts. The law doesn’t provide servicemembers with full free access to their credit reports when they receive an alert that something has changed.*
Fortunately, Congress gave the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the power to mandate free credit reports as part of new requirements for free credit monitoring. The FTC has issued a proposed rule on credit monitoring but did not include free reports.
Tell the FTC that active duty servicemembers should get free online access to their credit reports when they get an alert that something has changed in their credit reports.
Deadline to submit comments is Monday, January 7.
You can submit comments on the FTC website. <======== Click Here to Comment!
Suggested sample comments:
Alerts for active duty military are not enough for credit monitoring. The FTC should require the credit bureaus to provide free online access to credit reports for active duty military when they get an alert. Servicemembers will want to review their credit reports when they get an unexpected alert and shouldn’t be forced to pay for it.
Protect servicemembers from being gulled into paying for expensive credit monitoring. If servicemembers are forced to pay for their credit reports after getting an alert, they will be easily enticed into signing up for a monthly monitoring subscription service -- for something they should have received for free.
Servicemembers should not get “credit monitoring lite.” Commercial credit monitoring products include access to credit reports; credit monitoring for servicemembers should as well.
* Note: Servicemembers get one free annual credit report from each of the credit bureaus (as do all adults in the United States), but would need to pay for additional reports unless they have a right to a free report under state law or after a denial of credit.
Thank you for your support of our servicemembers!
Chi Chi Wu
National Consumer Law Center
John Gear is a Salem attorney in solo practice