As someone who is deployed, it’s important to make sure everything is checked off your to-do list to prevent any issues while you’re away. The last thing you need is to worry about your credit during this emotional and mental stage of your life.
To save yourself from unnecessary headaches and worries, here are some tips to help protect your credit while in the military:
– Place an active service alert on all credit reports: This alert is similar to a fraud alert and notifies lenders to take extra precautions before approving credit in your name. Creditors may even be required to contact you directly before approving any credit. This alert also removes you from credit card and insurance offers for up to two years, reducing the risk of someone else opening credit under your name without your knowledge. You can request these alerts for free from any of the three credit bureaus and they last for one year, so you should renew them depending on your needs.
– Understand your rights under the Military Loans Act: This act provides protections to all serving military personnel who apply for credit while serving. These include an interest cap of 36% inclusive of finance charges and charges on loans, protection against prepayment penalties, and limitations on what a creditor can make you agree to.
– Know your rights under the Military Civil Relief Act: This act provides protection to military members in terms of civil lawsuits related to finance. Some of the protections offered are default judgement protection and the ability to reduce interest rates to a maximum of 6% if you had high interest debt prior to joining the service. Creditors must also obtain court orders to seize or repossess property of an active service member.
By familiarizing yourself with these protections, you can serve with peace of mind knowing your credit is protected.