Freezing your credit is an easy thing to do that will safeguard your identity and credit. It could also save you hours of frustration and stress of dealing with identity fraud. No need to pay an external company x dollars per month to do this for you and you shouldn't wait until after you've been hacked to freeze. Prevention can save you a lot of anxiety and hassle later.
- Once your credit is frozen no one can check your credit to open an account – not even yourself. You will need to unfreeze it when you want to apply for credit or if an employer needs to check it.
- You should do a security freeze with each of the three credit bureaus and it will cost $3 each to freeze and $3 to unfreeze. If you have been a victim of fraud you can freeze your credit for free. You may need to obtain a police report to submit to the bureaus.
- It will remain frozen until you unfreeze and when you unfreeze you can specify the number of days before the freeze comes back on. e.g. you froze your credit in January for $9 and now you want to buy a cellphone so you unfreeze it with all three bureaus for $9 and specify that it will be unfrozen for 5 days. After 5 days your credit will automatically go back to the frozen state.
- When you freeze your credit be sure to keep a note of the code/pins you get or create otherwise it will be a lot of hassle to unfreeze your credit when you need to.
- It is wise to periodically check your credit with all three bureaus. You can do this for free once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com. So if you check one bureau each quarter you will be able to keep an eye on your credit every 4 months.
Equifax – https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp or call 1-800-685-1111
Experien – http://www.experian.com/consumer/security_freeze.html or call 1 888- 397-3742
Transunion (you will need to create an account) – http://www.transunion.com/personal-credit/credit-disputes/credit-freezes.page or call 888-909-8872
Don't be a victim, take control of your credit!