How to Get a Free Credit Report for Military Service Members Plus National Guard
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a final ruling to give free electronic credit monitoring, including free credit reports, for all active duty US Military members and National Guard members. The legislation guarantees that active duty and National Guard members will receive free electronic credit monitoring from the Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reporting agencies. The FTC published a final rule to implement the credit monitoring provisions applicable to active duty military consumers in section 302 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The Free Electronic Credit Monitoring for Active Duty Military Rule went into effect on October 1, 2019.
Active duty includes US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, US Marine Corps, US Coast Guard, and National Guard service members. Credit reports and monitoring are also free for reservists performing duty under a call or order to active duty under a provision of law.
Free electronic credit monitoring service for US Military means they are provided at no cost to the consumer. The law also clarifies that military customers’ data may not be used for marketing purposes. All three nationwide credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – now offer free credit monitoring and free credit reports for military personnel.
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The FTC ruling prohibits the disclosure of information and secondary uses of information collected from any active duty military personnel who use any free credit report service. All three credit bureaus are not allowed to market other services to active military who are receiving credit reports for free.
Free credit reports and free monitoring services alerts for military consumers notifies service members about material additions or changes to their credit files. These alerts include information about newly opened accounts, address changes, name changes, phone number changes, credit limit increases, and credit report inquiries other than for pre-screening or account reviews. Military consumers must be notified of these important alerts within 48 hours. The notifications are delivered via secure mobile apps, emails, or SMS text message.
Who Qualifies for a Free Credit Report for Military?
Active duty service members are defined as “active duty military consumers” under the law and are entitled to free credit report monitoring from all three credit bureaus. This includes someone who is on active duty or is a reservist performing duty under a call or order to active duty under a provision of law referred to in section 101(a)(13) of title 10, United States Code. The definition also includes those assigned to service away from the usual duty station of the military consumer and someone who is a member of the National Guard.
There are about 1.4 million active duty members and over 800,000 members of the Guard and Reserve components.
Troops need protection from cyber attacks. Last month, hackers set up a spoof website to lure newly discharged and active but soon-to-be discharged military service personnel into a malware cyber attack.
I’m Not in the Military – Can I Get a Free Credit Report Too?
Even if you are not an active duty service personnel, you may still be entitled to a free credit report.
According to FCRA each of the three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – must provide consumers with one free credit report each year, upon request.
You can also receive a free credit report if you are denied any application for credit, insurance, or employment, based on information in a credit report.
Where is My Free Credit Report from the Government?
All three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – are offering free credit reports for US Military due to recent federal law changes.
How to Get Your Free Military Credit Report
Details on how to sign up for free credit monitoring for military are available on the websites of each credit reporting agency. Generally, creditors send information to the credit reporting agencies monthly.
- Create a free account on each of the three major credit bureau websites
- Follow the instructions to certify you are current active duty military or a member of the National Guard
- Log in to view the free credit report online
Equifax.com Free Credit Report for Military
Equifax offers a free credit report for military personnel with daily access. The Equifax website has detailed information about their free credit reports for military service members. Per the features required by law, Equifax reports key material additions or changes to military servicemembers credit reports and sends fraud alerts. Their product called Credit Watch Gold, also includes $25,000 in insurance coverage for some identity theft related expenses.
Experian Free Credit Report for Military
An updated Experian free credit report is available for military members every 30 days, but it does not include a free credit score. Service members can view financial accounts, account balances, and payment histories.
To get your free military credit report from Experian visit https://www.experian.com/lp/military.html and sign up for a free account.
TransUnion Free Credit Report for Military
The TransUnion Credit bureau website does not yet have a page detailing information about free credit reports for military personnel. Visit their website for more information.
Free Credit Report for Military Veterans
Military Veterans or Retired military members are not eligible for free credit reports under this legislation. However, if you were a victim of a recent data breach, like the massive Equifax data breach, you may be eligible for free credit monitoring.
Michelle writes about cyber security, data privacy focusing on social media privacy as well as how to protect your IoT devices. She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years and owns METRONY, LLC. Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michelle published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers