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Did You Know You Can Freeze Your Credit?

April 5, 2010 | Credit Reporting | No Comments

If you want to protect your credit for fear of identity theft or you are a recent victim of identify theft credit freeze is a good way to immediately protect yourself. In a sense, this is like putting a padlock on your credit profile to protect your identity.

A credit freeze, or security freeze, can be requested by each of the 3 credit bureaus (Equifax, Transunion and Experian) to seal your credit report making your credit report inaccessible, unless you give authorization with a password or personal ID number.

However, keep in mind that a security freeze may delay, prohibit or interfere with timely approval of request or application you make regarding a mortgage, insurance, new loan, insurance, government services or payments, rental housing, employment, etc.

Each of the credit bureaus charge from $3 to $10 to place a freeze on your credit report.  However, if you are a recent victim of identify theft; you may be able to get a credit freeze at no cost.  Costs vary by state, so check your state’s guidelines.

A credit freeze does not hurt your credit.  It is a method to protect someone from accessing your credit report unless you give permission.

Removing a credit freeze varies for each bureau, but you typically have 2 options.  You can temporarily remove the credit freeze (or thaw) or permanently remove it.  A temporary lift, typically lasting 7, 15, or 30 days, is used when you need a third party to access your credit.  Of course, a permanent lift means your want your credit information available to anyone without restrictions.  There maybe a cost with lifting your credit, again check with your state’s guidelines.

Below are links to the 3 credit bureaus for more information about credit freeze:

Experian

 

Equifax

 

TransUnion

 

 

 

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