Advice For Freezing Your Credit

Previously, we discussed boosting the credit score; in this chapter, however, we will describe how to freeze one’s credit report. Essentially, a credit freeze will allow you to seal your credit reports and utilize a personal identification number (PIN) that is only known to you in order to thaw your credit when genuine applications for credit and services are processed.
Even if they obtain your personal information, malicious individuals cannot establish new credit in your name due to the additional degree of security. You should not worry about your credit lines, as freezing your credit files has no effect on your existing credit lines. One can continue to utilize them as usual, even if they have been frozen. The price required to freeze a person’s credit ranges from $3 to $10 per individual per bureau, however some jurisdictions charge more.

In recent years, victims of identity theft have been able to get free freezes. The adoption of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, however, requires credit bureaus to provide consumers a free credit freeze. The new law would also permit parents or guardians to impose a freeze on the credit reports of minors under the age of 16. ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT WHEN PERFORMING A FREEZE, ALL THREE BUREAUS MUST BE USED.
Do not freeze your credit if.. your credit reports are accessed frequently for work or you regularly open new accounts with a variety of financial institutions, it is not recommended that you freeze your accounts.

Freeze Credit

EXPERIAN

Credit freezes can be placed online, through certified mail with a return receipt required, or by phoning 1-888-EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742). When phoning, press 2 and follow the security freeze prompts. Check the page for your state to see the exact cost of your credit freeze. Send your request via certified mail. Additionally, you can freeze a child’s credit report. This link contains information pertinent to all three agencies. You must first submit a letter to each agency to determine whether or not your underage child has a credit record; if so, you can then freeze the report. Unfreeze: You can temporarily lift your Experian credit freeze via the website or by phoning 1-888-397-3797.

EQUIFAX

Freezing credit can be done online or via certified letter with return receipt requested. Check the listing for your state for the precise price of your freeze. Request a freeze on your credit using certified mail. If your PIN arrives late, dial 1-888-298-0045. They will request identification and arrange for the delivery of your PIN within four to seven days. The Equifax credit freeze can be temporarily lifted by mail, online, or by phoning 1-800-688-1111. (N.Y. residents dial 1-800-349-9960).

TRANSUNION

It can be completed online, over the phone (1-888-909-8872), or via certified mail – return receipt requested. Check the page for your state to see the exact cost of your credit freeze. Send your request via certified mail. Please note the attachments that are required. Unfreeze: You can temporarily lift your credit freeze with TransUnion online or by calling 1-888-909-8872.

The Workings of a Security Freeze

Your credit report provides information about your payment history, which creditors and lenders use to determine your creditworthiness. Creditors and lenders cannot access your credit report or score, the numeric value assigned to your report, unless you provide a password to the credit bureau to open your report. Since the majority of institutions need a credit check, a credit application would likely be declined. You may freeze your credit report at each of the three main credit bureaus, but each bureau must be contacted separately.