The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, which passed a key procedural hurdle earlier this week with overwhelming bipartisan support, includes a key amendment from Delaware’s Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, that would require credit reporting agencies like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to offer their credit monitoring services to all active duty military, including Reservists and the National Guard, for free.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, members of the military face a higher degree of risk of identity theft than the general public — almost twice as much, and identity theft is by far the top complaint filed at the FTC by members of the military. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has also received complaints from active duty service members who reported damage to their credit reports because of identity theft. This amendment will provide service members with free credit monitoring tools that offer an extra measure of protection from identity theft, an important service they deserve.
“Active duty service members have sacrificed to serve our country. Giving them the tools necessary to protect their financial well-being while they are fighting on our behalf is the absolute least we can do,” said Carper, a 23-year veteran of the Navy. “Credit reports have become critical in making financial decisions like obtaining a mortgage or an auto loan, but also in applying for jobs and undertaking other important life events. With data breaches and identity theft on the rise in recent years, and with our military personnel particularly vulnerable to these threats, making sure our service members have access to these credit monitoring services is more important than ever.”
“We know that active duty service members are disproportionately targeted for identity theft, and these brave men and women deserve the ability to monitor their credit and protect themselves,” said Coons. “I’m proud that Senator Carper and I were able to successfully fight to include our amendment in this bill to help protect service members and their families from identity theft.”