can protect returning military personnel|
loan relief. As part of a budget act passed by Congress in February of
2006, reservists and active-duty members of the military deployed away from their
permanent-duty stations receive a deferment for up to three years on student-loan
payments. In addition, lenders must waive accruing interest on these missed payments.
and health insurance. Subject to approval by the Department of Veteran
Affairs, service members may obtain deferments of life insurance payments during
military service and for two years afterward. Once the service member leaves active
duty, he or she has two years to catch up on the premiums and the interest charged.
lease termination. The older law had no provision for terminating car leases,
leaving deployed service members stuck making lease payments on cars they couldn't
drive. Now, any active duty service member who is deployed away from his or her
permanent duty station for at least six months can terminate a car, truck or other
vehicle lease without penalty.
theft. Identity theft can be an especially difficult problem for deployed
military personnel because they might not even be aware of problems occurring
while they are overseas. Amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FACTA,
allow any members of the military who are deployed from their regular posting
to place an "active duty alert" on their credit reports.
order to place the alert, according to the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, you
or your designated representative need to call
the toll-free number of one of the three major credit reporting companies
and request an active duty alert. It doesn't matter which company you contact,
because the law requires them to notify each other of these alerts. You or your
representative will have to provide information to verify your identity, including
your Social Security number, address, etc.
The active duty
alert provides two important protections. Most importantly, any business that
is approached about granting credit in your name must verify your identity before
issuing that credit. Secondly, credit reporting agencies must remove you from
their prescreened marketing lists for credit cards and insurance for two years.
While the active duty alert generally lasts for a one-year period, you can extend
it if your deployment lasts longer than one year.