FTC Announces Final Rule Implementing Law Providing Free Credit Monitoring for Active Duty Military Consumers


The final Rule defines “active duty military consumer” as a consumer in military service who meets the FCRA’s definition of “active duty military consumer,” which requires that the consumer be assigned to service away from their usual duty station, or be a member of the National Guard. While commenters recommended eliminating the requirement that a military consumer be assigned to service away from their usual duty station, the statute limits the Commission’s discretion on this topic. To the extent that Congress intended to provide free credit monitoring more broadly, the Commission calls on Congress to address this issue through additional legislation.

The final Rule also clarifies that National Guard members do not need to be deployed away from their usual duty stations to be eligible for the free credit monitoring. Because the statute does not expressly apply the duty station requirement to National Guard members, the Commission has interpreted the Act as providing the benefit of free credit monitoring to members of the National Guard regardless of whether they are assigned away from their usual duty station.

The final Rule also addresses concerns that active duty military consumers might have to pay to access their credit files after being alerted to an addition or change. The final Rule requires that when a CRA notifies an active duty military consumer about a material change to their credit file, the CRA must also provide that consumer with free access to that file.