Empowering military consumers–all year long
This is a joint blog by the Department of Defense (DoD), the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
As we approach the end of Military Consumer Protection Month, it’s time to think about how we can support servicemembers all year long. Seven years ago, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched Military Consumer Protection Day to highlight fraud affecting servicemembers. Since then, the observance has grown into a national, year-round campaign. Militaryconsumer.gov provides servicemembers and their families with resources from partner agencies like Department of Defense (DoD), the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to boost their financial readiness.
The unique demands of military service can amplify financial challenges, leaving servicemembers to fend off fraudsters looking to do them financial harm or deal with the costly consequences of a bad financial decision. The Military Consumer website brings government agencies, consumer advocates, and military support groups together to spotlight free tools, information and resources that help servicemembers and families, and veterans tackle those challenges.
Here are just a few you can use year-round:
- Federal Trade Commission and Military Consumer: Military Consumer is a one-stop shop with short tips that link to more in-depth resources from the FTC and its many partners about consumer issues specific to the military. The FTC also has information to help identity theft victims , older consumers, Spanish speakers , as well as people who need just the consumer protection basics . Check out FTC.gov/Coronavirus to learn about steering clear of pandemic-related scams and how to deal with the financial fallout.
- Department of Defense: The DoD offers servicemembers and military families several resources that can help them get and stay financially fit. From understanding benefits and entitlements like the Blended Retirement System to updates on servicemember coronavirus resources to information on military consumer protection laws like the Military Lending Act, the DoD’s Office of Financial Readiness (FINRED) offers financial education resources created for servicemembers at every level of financial experience. Military spouses can find a robust suite of tools and resources on MilSpouse Money Mission , a website designed to provide military spouses with trusted information they can use to actively be involved in making financial decisions for their families’ financial well-being and achieving of financial goals.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: The CFPB works to protect consumers from financial harm and empowers them with the tools they need to become smarter and savvier consumers. Consumers can visit the CFPB’s website to get up-to-date information and resources on protecting and managing their finances during the global pandemic; consumer tools to help make decisions on mortgages, auto loans, credits cards, and other products; and browse answers to hundreds of financial questions. Servicemembers can also find military-specific resources to help them at different steps in their military lifecycle and award-winning online educational resource s that can help improve money management skills. Consumers, including servicemembers, who have a problem with a financial product or service they can’t solve on their own can also submit a complaint.
While Military Consumer Protection Month is a great time to share consumer protection resources from the campaign’s many partners , our efforts don’t stop on July 31. Help us spread the word now and throughout the year.