Fraud and Freezing Your Credit

Credit freeze was first introduced in 2003 but it wasn’t until 2007 when the government required all three major credit bureaus- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion- to implement freezing credit report.

Currently, credit freeze is being done in all 47 States of the US. What is a credit freeze and why should you be interested to learn about it?

Credit Report Freeze – What it Means

Freezing your credit report means barring it from anyone who tries to access it. Lenders, insurers, potential employers, landlords, marketing companies, not even the owner of the credit report himself can tap into the report while it is on a freeze.

To be able to access it again, one has to request for a “thaw” or “unfreeze” from the credit bureau. Clearly, a credit freeze is a lot rigorous than a fraud alert. With a fraud alert, a creditor is simply alerted to contact you- the credit report owner in case someone tries to open an account in your name.

The creditor can choose to ignore this alert and open the account without notifying you. With a credit freeze, your credit report is totally out of reach from anyone, not even you. If a creditor tried to look into your credit report, they will simply get a message that your report has been frozen.

To open a new account, you have to request for the freeze be lifted. In this case, a credit freeze really does give more protection from the risk of identity theft.

[Article:  The Differences Between A Fraud Alert and Credit Freeze]

The Process of Freezing Your Credit

So how do you freeze your credit report? A fraud alert can be done with just a phone call. On the contrary, requesting a credit freeze is not that easy. You can’t simply call up the credit bureau and ask for a freeze.

Instead, you have to send a letter of request along with the requirements for freezing. For instance, you would need to submit at least 2 copies of your proof of identification with your letter. Also, there is a fee of $10 to $12 each time you request for a freeze from each bureau.

[Article:  How To Evade Identity Theft With Credit Freeze]

Once you have placed your credit report on freeze, it will stay frozen unless you send in a new request to unfreeze it. In this case, you would need to pay another $10 to $12, depending on the bureau holding your credit report.

Unfreezing can take up from within minutes to 3 days, while some bureaus may even take up to a week so you’ll want to give it enough time before you start applying for a new credit card or a new account.

You also have the option to unfreeze your credit report for just a limited period while applying for credit. Within this period, you can request the credit bureau to limit access to your credit report only to the names you specify.

Putting your credit on a freeze may seem to be inconvenient for some people, but if you consider its importance, then it’s definitely worth the effort and the money it will cost you.

Elizabeth Roberts

Elizabeth Roberts

Liz Roberts and her team are continuously providing information to people who are ready to repair their credit and improve their credit score. Also NewHorizon.org team strives to empower the homebased and small business owners by bringing information that can help them to manage and grow their businesses. Let our 24+ years of business finance experience help you to get the financing you need! CONTACT US if need financing for your business.

2 Comments
  1. I think this is true and correct step. At the present time has divorced many fraudsters who use stolen or forged documents for their scams. It was as though an honest man could not defend themselves from such scams. Now there is a great opportunity to protect themselves and at the right time to block access to their credit history.

    Freddy Braun,

  2. Another inconvenience is that a credit freeze will prevent automatic updates to your name or address. Thus, if either of these things change while you have a credit freeze in place, you’ll need to manually update this information with the credit bureaus.

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NewHorizon.org is an independent, advertising supported website. The owner of the site may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. NewHorizon.org has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

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