Help Desk FAQ

Credit reports and scores



What is an active duty alert for members of the military?

If you are a member of the military and away from your usual duty station, the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to place an "active duty alert" on your credit report to help minimize the risk of identity theft while you are deployed. When a business sees the alert on your credit report, it must verify your identity before issuing you credit. The business may try to contact you directly, but if you're on deployment, that could be impossible. As a result, the law allows you to assign a personal representative to place or remove the alert. An active duty alert on your report is effective for one year, unless you request that the alert be removed sooner. If your deployment lasts longer, you may place another alert on your report.

Beginning in May 2019, credit reporting agencies must offer free electronic credit monitoring to all active duty servicemembers. (This monitoring is more limited than commercial monitoring products in that the law only requires electronic notifications of additions or modifications to a consumer’s file.)

To place an active duty alert, or to have it removed, contact one of the three national credit reporting agencies. The company you contact is required to contact the other two, which will place an alert on their versions of your report as well. The company will require you to provide proof of your identity, which might include your Social Security number, name, address and other personal information.

If your contact information changes before your alert expires, remember to update it.

When you place an active duty alert, your name will be removed from the nationwide credit reporting companies' marketing lists for prescreened offers of credit and insurance for two years, unless you ask that your name be placed back on the lists before then.




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