TO FREEZE OR NOT TO FREEZE
Don’t worry, winter is still several months away. However, if you have been the victim of identity theft, this service is highly recommended. When a security freeze is added to your credit report, no third party will be able to access your credit report without your consent.
A federal law now allows people to freeze and unfreeze their credit at credit bureaus for free.
After you’ve ordered a security freeze, some agencies may still have access to your credit report, including:
Companies with which you currently have a financial relationship
State, local law enforcement agencies, child support agencies
FCRA-Disclosure to FBI Uses for Counterintelligence
Credit monitoring services to which the consumer has subscribed
Each office has different criteria for requesting a security freeze which are listed below.
You can freeze your credit with TransUnion at the link above. You will create an account that will allow you to request a freeze and they will only need the last four digits of your social security number. You can also call TransUnion at (888) -909-8872 to freeze your credit report if you prefer not to create an account or you can send your request to TransUnion using the address above.
You can freeze your case with Experian either by mail or online via the link above. You can also temporarily or permanently remove a security freeze from your online credit report by selecting the appropriate option at the link above or by calling 888-397-3742. You can also send them your request by mail to the above address. Once you have placed a gel, Experian will provide you with your PIN and send you a confirmation letter explaining the process for removing the gel.
Equifax Information Services LLC
You can place a security freeze on your Equifax credit report online by creating a myEquifax account at the link above. Once you have placed the security freeze on your Equifax credit report, you will be able to check its status through your myEquifax account. To freeze over the phone, you can also call their automated line at 800-349-9960. Additionally, you can place a freeze by mail by downloading a form that contains instructions and mailing address. When you perform a freeze, you receive a 10-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN). This PIN code will be necessary to temporarily lift or permanently remove a security freeze by telephone or by mail. A PIN is no longer required for online security freeze transactions.
It is important to be aware that placing a security freeze on your credit report may delay the processing / acceptance of credit applications for a mortgage, car, credit card, etc. because the freeze will have to be lifted for your credit to be withdrawn. Please plan accordingly if you plan to apply for credit so that your credit report can be assessed.