Last November, we reported on the need to protect your identity by putting a freeze on your credit. Beginning September 21, 2018, there is no longer a fee to do so. A freeze stops someone from getting a loan or opening a credit card in your name (it does not restrict your ability to use your credit cards).
Once a request is made, it must be completed no longer than the next business day. When you request a freeze, you will receive a PIN. The PIN is used to unfreeze your account when you need to apply for a new loan or credit card. Keep the PIN in a safe place. When you request the freeze to be lifted (which is also now free), the credit agency must comply within one hour.
Insurers, employers, existing creditors and debt collectors can still access your credit report after a freeze is in place.
You can request a freeze by phone or online at all three of the major reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). We recommend that you do so with all three. You can also place a freeze on your children’s account, which is also recommended.