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Credit Freezes

Millions of Americans are victims of identity theft every year, and the numbers continue to rise. Learning what you can do to protect yourself from identity theft is the best way to reduce your vulnerability. A credit freeze is an identity theft defense that every consumer should understand.

What is a credit freeze?

A credit freeze temporarily restricts access to your credit report, through the use of an authorization code and password. A credit freeze provides identity theft protection by making it more difficult for identity thieves to open accounts in your name. A credit freeze can be executed by each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). 

When to freeze your credit?

Freezing your credit is recommended if you are a recent victim of identity theft, or if you suspect someone of trying to steal your identity.

How to unfreeze your credit?

There are two options for unfreezing your credit: a temporary lift and a permanent lift. You will need your authorization code and password to unfreeze your credit by either option.

Temporary Lift:

  • Gives third parties temporary access to your credit
  • Expires in anywhere from 7-30 days

Permanent Lift:

  • Reverses credit freeze permanently
  • Gives third parties access to your credit

Quick Credit Freeze Facts

  • Credit freezes are also known as “security freezes.”
  • Credit freezes generally cost anywhere from $3-$10 but are sometimes offered for free in special circumstances.
  • Credit freezes do not hurt your credit score.
  • You must request a security freeze from each of the three major credit reporting companies if you want a freeze on all of your credit.
  • The freeze will remain on your accounts until you choose to lift it.
  • You can still apply for credit with a freeze on your account, but additional steps may be necessary.

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