With so many data breaches affecting millions of people it can make you wonder if there is anyway to protect yourself. One way to protect yourself is to use cash when shopping but that is not always possible so what else can you do? Another option for protecting your credit is to lock your credit report. Locking your credit report is also refereed to a credit freeze, learn details about a credit freeze below.
So just what is a credit freeze?
A credit freeze or security freeze as it is sometimes called is a lock on your credit report that prevents your credit report or credit score from being accessed unless you unlock or thaw the credit freeze through the use of a PIN selected by you. If you wanted to apply for credit yourself, such as taking out a car loan, you would need to thaw your credit. By law, the credit reporting agencies can take up to three days to thaw your credit report, however the credit reporting agencies can thaw your credit report in as little as fifteen minutes. Once your new creditor has evaluated your credit report, you can refreeze your credit report although a small charge accrues each time depending on the state in which you live.
How do you put a credit freeze on your credit report?
With a fraud alert, if you notify one of the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion to put a fraud alert on your account, that credit reporting agency will notify the other agencies on your behalf and a fraud alert will be put on your credit report at the other credit reporting agencies without any further action required by you. However, as I indicated earlier, the credit reporting agencies are not huge fans of credit freezes so when putting a credit freeze on your credit reports at the three credit reporting agencies, it is necessary to contact each of them individually and pay the small fee required to each of them.
It is important to note that the laws pertaining to the cost of putting a credit freeze on your credit reports as well as the cost to temporarily thaw your credit freeze vary from state to state. At my blog www.scamicide.com you can go to the Scamicide archives and by typing in the words “credit freeze” in the archives section you can find links to the rules for credit freezes in your particular state.
SRC: Learn more about Why you Should have a Credit Freeze at: www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/2015/10/17/weisman-credit-freeze/73383650/