Know Your Rights
Understanding your consumer rights and protections is a very important part of your financial well-being. And it’s even more important to those serving in the military.
Scammers are everywhere these days. There are always people who try to take advantage of others for financial gain. Stay aware — learn about what you can do to protect yourself as a consumer and Service member.
Military Consumer Protection Laws
There are two important consumer protection laws designed specifically for Service members, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and the Military Lending Act (MLA). Both laws protect Service members on active duty and active members of the Guard and Reserve on Title 10 orders.
SCRA protections include:
- Ability to terminate cell phone, cable, and internet contracts
- Termination of residential and auto leases
- Postponement of foreclosures and evictions
- Installment contract protection
- 6% interest rate cap on debts incurred before active duty
- Stay of certain civil court proceedings
- Delay of enforcement related to certain taxes, including personal and real property taxes
- Life insurance coverage protections
MLA protections include:
- 36% interest rate cap on most types of consumer loans
- No mandatory waivers of consumer protection laws
- No mandatory allotments
- No prepayment penalty
The Fair Credit Reporting Act now requires the nationwide consumer reporting agencies to provide free credit monitoring for active-duty military consumers. Sign up with the credit reporting agencies at their websites below:
- Equifax® Active Duty Credit Monitoring
- TransUnionTM Active Duty Military Credit Center
- Experian® Military Member Credit Report and Monitoring
Identity Theft Protection
Did you know that Service members are more likely than other adults to report identity theft? This Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report highlights the increased rate of identity theft reporting by Service members.
Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:
Safeguard your mail
Check your credit report regularly
Secure your wallet or purse
Review account statements
Notify creditors of address updates
Place active-duty alerts and/or security freezes on your credit report prior to deployment