Army Financial Readiness: Free Credit Monitoring

Friday, December 20, 2019

What is it?

The 2018 Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was amended to include free electronic credit monitoring for active-duty Soldiers, Army National Guard, and Army Reservists under a call or order under the provision of law. Free credit monitoring is an important change that reinforces the U.S. Army's financial readiness initiative.

What are the current and past efforts of the Army?

Financial readiness is a key factor in keeping a Soldier's mind clear to focus on their duties and mission in the Army. Credit monitoring is a valuable tool for Soldiers and Families because they can:

  • Check changes in credit score both positive and negative
  • See who is looking at their credit report
  • Know what is being reported on their credit report
  • Protect themselves against identity theft in its early stages by receiving notifications within 24 hours

Eligible Soldiers are encouraged to sign up with all three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (NCRAs), by visiting each NCRA website, create an account, and self-certify active-duty status. Soldiers save $120 to $180 per year by signing up for the free service.

Once Soldiers have the credit monitoring service, they will be notified by mobile app, email, or text of certain changes to their credit file.

After signing up, Soldiers can monitor their credit accounts for any signs of identity theft. Soldiers can dispute or report inaccurate or fraudulent information on their credit report at Federal Trade Commission website, and start a recovery plan.

The Army currently includes two hours of financial education in Basic Combat Training and eight hours in Advanced Individual Training.

The Army also provides financial education at many of its installations through Personal Financial Managers who offer scheduled classes and one-on-one counseling upon request.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

The Army is working to develop financial training tools for Soldiers to continue financial education throughout their military life. Life-event financial training will include:

  • Permanent Change of Station
  • Promotion
  • Vesting in Thrift Savings Plan
  • Entitlement to Continuation Pay
  • Major Life Events
  • Leadership Training
  • Pre- and Post-Deployment
  • Transition

Why is this important to the Army?

Free credit monitoring strengthens financial readiness for Soldiers and families and reinforces the Army People Strategy. Financial readiness empowers Soldiers to manage their financial affairs in a manner that enhances mission readiness. Credit monitoring is a tool that can help Soldiers meet this goal.

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Events

December 2019

Dec 13: National Guard Birthday

Dec 14: Army-Navy Game

Dec. 16 - Jan. 25: Battle of the Bulge

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