Effective October 31, 2019, Experian will now provide free credit monitoring services to qualifying members of the U.S. military services through IDnotifyTM.
Under a law passed in 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has expanded the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to include this service in an effort to help deployed service members avoid identity theft and data fraud.
The new rules require the three national credit bureaus (Experian®, TransUnion® and Equifax®) to notify participating service members within 48 hours of detecting "material additions or modifications" to their credit files. These include:
- Material changes to the service member's address
- Opening of new accounts in the service member's name
- The appearance of new negative information in the credit file
- Increases or reductions of $100 or more in credit limits
Service Member Notification Process
Once a service member enrolls in the program, the credit bureau will begin monitoring their report. If any of the material additions or modifications spelled out in the FTC rule are detected in a service member's credit file, the bureau that maintains the file must alert the service member.
If any service member discovers inaccurate information on their Experian credit report, they should use the Experian dispute process to correct the matter. If one or more new accounts are opened in the service member's name, they should notify the relevant financial institutions immediately, using the contact information that appears on their credit report.
If a service member discovers unauthorized credit activity, or has other reason to suspect their personal information has been compromised, they might be wise to freeze their credit files at Experian®, Equifax® and TransUnion®. This prevents others from opening any new loans or credit accounts in the service member's name until they decide to un-freeze (or "thaw") their credit files. A credit freeze can also be a reasonable precaution for a service member on remote assignment, even if no suspicious activity has been detected.
Service members alerted by the other credit bureaus of material credit file changes should follow any instructions that accompany the notification, or take the steps described here by the FTC. If there are indications of identity theft, such as newly opened accounts or loan applications, they can use information at identitytheft.gov to get started on recovery and find out how Experian can help protect their credit report.
Who Is Eligible?
Eligible participants in the program include full-time training duty, annual training duty, full-time National Guard, as well as those in the active service attending a school designated as a service school by law or by the secretary of the military department concerned.
Enroll Now With IDnotify
Eligible service members must enroll in the program to participate. Click here for details.