Recently, Congress passed and the President signed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.  One major benefit from this Act is that the Act will require the credit bureaus to offer free credit freezes.  A credit freeze blocks access to a consumer’s credit report.  This makes it more difficult for accounts to be opened in a consumer’s name and for other people to apply for credit in a consumer’s name.  If a consumer wants to apply for credit or allow a creditor to gain access to the credit report, the consumer can request a credit thaw.  Currently, however, credit freezes often require a consumer to pay a fee in order to freeze access to the credit report.  Under the Act, however, credit freezes will be free.

Another benefit under the Act will allow fraud alerts to remain on credit reports for a full year.  At present, most fraud alerts end within a couple of months.

For active military, the Act also requires that the credit bureaus offer free electronic credit monitoring.

Each of the major credit bureaus must set up a separate website for consumers to request credit freezes and fraud alerts.

The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act takes effect September 21, 2018.