Tester Secures Free Credit Freezes, Financial Certainty for Deployed Service Members

All Three National Credit Agencies Follow Tester's Lead

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester is providing more financial certainty to military members and their families by helping them secure credit freezes while they are deployed overseas.

Tester sponsored a bipartisan amendment to the 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill that would allow deployed service members to request a freeze on their credit at no cost. After Tester added his amendment to the bill, all three nationwide consumer credit reporting agencies announced this week they will follow Tester’s lead and voluntarily offer free credit freezes for active duty service members.

“This will ease the financial burden on service members and provide them peace-of-mind while they are deployed and away from their families,” Tester said. “I applaud the credit reporting agencies for taking this step, which will help the folks who serve better focus at the task at hand, and not worry about their financial security when called to action.”

“Given the nature of the military lifestyle, with frequent location moves and overseas deployments, these brave men and women, and their families, may find it particularly challenging to address an identity theft situation,” said Eric J. Ellman, Interim President and CEO of the Consumer Data Industry Association. “The nationwide consumer reporting agencies support these guidelines changes, and are all pleased to be able to offer servicemembers an additional, accessible option for protecting their credit and identities.”

All three nationwide consumer reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion announced this week they will begin offering free credit file security freezes beginning in 2018.

When an individual’s credit file is frozen, it can’t be shared with any potential financers, credit companies, or insurance companies without direct permission from the individual. If a service member chooses to freeze their credit, it will limit their exposure to identity theft while they are deployed overseas.

Service members seeking a credit freeze can access “Frequently Asked Questions” through the Consumer Data Industry Association HERE.