On  May 22, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. Signed into law on May 24, 2018, the act was created in response to the massive Equifax breach last year that exposed the personal information of  146 million Americans.

The Act is divided into six titles, which aim to:

  • Improve consumer access to mortgage credit (Title I)
  • Provide regulatory relief and protect consumer access to credit (Title II)
  • Protect the credit information of consumers, including veterans and servicemembers (Title III)
  • Tailor regulations for certain Bank Holding Companies, including raising the threshold levels for exemption from certain prudential standards and stress testing (Title IV)
  • Encourage capital formation by reforming certain Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations (Title V)
  • Protect student borrowers (Title VI)

When the law takes effect this fall, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion obligated to each set up a webpage for requesting fraud alerts and credit freezes. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will likewise post links to those pages on On September 21, 2018, the new federal law allows you to get free credit freezes and year-long fraud alerts.

Listed below are the changes taking effect on September 21st:

Free credit freezes
  • Currently: Credit freezes may involve fees, based on state law.
    • Changes starting 9/21: It will be free to freeze and unfreeze your credit file throughout the country.
Free child credit freezes
  • Currently: Some state laws allow you to freeze a child’s credit file.
    • Changes starting 9/21: No matter where you live, you’ll be able to get a free credit freeze for children under age 16.
Year-long fraud alerts
  • Currently: Fraud alerts last 90 days.
    • Changes starting 9/21: An initial fraud alert will last for one year. It will still be free and identity theft victims can still get an extended fraud alert for seven years.

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