Now You Can Freeze Your Credit for FREE!

Yup. As of today (Friday), you won’t have to pay a fee to the big three credit-reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – to freeze your credit and help protect yourselves from financial identity theft.

Until now, it would cost as much as $10 to freeze and “thaw” your credit. However, as of September 21, this process is free. You do still have to contact each individual reporting agencies to go through the simple process of freezing your credit. Here is the contact information for each credit agency:

Equifax

Online: Visit this page to freeze your credit with Equifax.

Phone: (800)685-1111 (NY residents call 800-349-9960)

Mail: Request your credit freeze by certified mail using this sample letter (courtesy of the consumer guru Clark Howard) and mail to:

  • Equifax Security Freeze P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348

Experian

Online: Visit this page to freeze your credit with Experian.

Phone: (888)EXPERIAN (888-397-3742). When calling, press 2 and then follow prompts for security freeze.

Mail: Request your credit freeze by certified mail using this sample letter (courtesy of the consumer guru Clark Howard) and mail to:

  • Experian Security Freeze P.O. Box 9554 Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion

Online: Visit this page to freeze your credit with TranUnion.

Phone: (888)909-8872

Mail: Request your credit freeze by certified mail using this sample letter (courtesy of the consumer guru Clark Howard) and mail to:

  • TransUnion LLC P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19016

*TransUnion is the only credit bureau to provide a mobile app to control the process. The “myTransUnion” app is available in Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Why Should You Freeze Your Credit?

A credit freeze restricts access to your credit file, and prevents anyone from checking your credit report or opening an account using your personal data. This is a great idea, especially in the wake of the numerous credit breaches we have been experiencing as of late.

Once a credit freeze is done, you will have to “thaw” it (temporarily or permanently) to be able to apply for credit or a loan.

  • A credit freeze does not impact current financial relationships, so it does not affect your existing credit account, loans or mortgage.

  • A freeze does not hurt your credit score.

The new law also requires the credit bureaus to expedite your request quickly, usually by the next business day (after the request is placed by phone or online). The credit “thaw” (lift the freeze) will happen within an hour of the request.

Source: nbcnews.com (Freezing Your Credit is now Free), cnbc.com (Worried about data breaches? Now you can freeze your credit for free), clark.com (Credit Freeze Guide: The best way to protect yourself against identity theft). The information is deemed to be correct.

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