Data breaches expose consumers’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII) at an alarming rate, and continue to place people at risk of identity theft and fraud.
What is a Credit Freeze?
A credit freeze (AKA security freeze) is a tool you can use to help protect yourself against credit fraud.
When you freeze your credit reports you are restricting access to these reports. This temporarily suspends anyone from accessing this information, which means neither you nor identity thieves can open new lines or credit or loans in your name.
Think of it as locking away a valuable item until you need it again. When that time comes, you can unfreeze your credit report and once again allow lenders access.
Should I use a Credit Freeze?
Whether you’re a victim of credit or identity fraud or choosing to be proactive against this type of crime, a freeze is a great option for protecting yourself.
This process is quick as once you contact the credit bureaus by phone or online they must put the freeze in place within 1 business day.
Here is the contact information for the three credit bureaus:
- Equifax: Call 800-685-1111 or online
- Experian: Call 888-397-3742 or online
- TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872 or online
If you need to ‘thaw’ your credit, you can do this for a specified amount of time or leave it open until you freeze it again.
Another added benefit of a credit freeze is that it prevents the bureaus from selling your data, which should stop unsolicited mail / offers.
This simple process does not cost anything nor does it affect your credit score. If you want to freeze your credit, you need to do it at each of the three major credit bureaus.
Make sure you’re taking the proper steps to secure your information so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
If you have any questions at all please call us at (800) 822-7120.