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Freeze credit

Guide

Freeze Your Credit

Freezing or locking your credit not only protects you from identity theft but gives you control over your data.  It is extremely easy to do and I encourage everyone to to do it.  The added protection plus the privacy benefits make this a “no-brainier”.

Freezing Your Credit

The whole process of securing your credit with a credit freeze request is pretty simple and easy to complete. 

Step 1: 
Contact each of the six credit agencies through their website, phone, or by mail.   I would recommend the online credit freeze.   If you have questions or have issues with the online method, calling the credit agency would the other recommended option.

Step 2:
Once you have completed your online request you will receive a PIN, usually by mail.   Keep this PIN in a safe place, you will need it to easily unfreeze and refreeze your credit with the agency.

Step 3:
Confirm your credit is in a frozen status.  You can contact the credit agency directly or use your yearly FREE credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com.

That’s It!
When you need to have your credit report pulled for a legitimate reason such as purchasing a car or house all you have to do is provide your PIN to unfreeze your credit.

 

Equifax
Online:  https://www.freeze.equifax.com
Phone:  1-800-685-1111
By Mail:
Equifax Security Freeze
PO Box 105788
Atlanta, GA  30348-5788

TransUnion
Online: https://service.transunion.com/dss/orderStep1_form.page
Phone:  1-888-909-8872
By Mail:
TransUnion LLC
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016

Chex
Online: https://www.chexsystems.com/
web/chexsystems/consumerdebit
/page/securityfreeze/placefreeze
Phone:  1-800-887-7652
By Mail:
Chex Systems Inc.
Attn: Security Freeze Department
7805 Hudson Road, Suite 100
Woodbury, MN 55125

Experian
Online:  https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
Phone:  1-888-397-3742
By Mail:
Experian Security Freeze
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

Innovis
Online: https://www.innovis.com/personal/securityFreeze
Phone:  1-800-540-2505
By Mail:
Innovis Consumer Assistance
PO Box 26
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0026

NCTUE
Online: https://www.nctue.com/Consumers
Phone:  1-866-349-5355
By Mail:
NCTUE Security Freeze
PO Box 105561
Atlanta, GA 30348

FAQs

Will freezing my credit affect my credit score?

No.  Freezing your credit will not cause your credit score to increase or decrease.

I thought there was only three credit agencies?

The “big three” credit agencies that you are probably familiar with are Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.   These are the ones that are usually pulled for large purchases such as a house or car.

The three lesser-known agencies are Innovis, Chex, and NCTUE.   These agencies are used for things such as cashing a check, purchasing a high-value item with credit, or checks that don’t need a full credit history.

How much to freeze my credit Report?

Freezing your credit report is FREE.  Any service that requests payment for freezing your credit should be avoided as being possibly malicious.

Who Can freeze my credit report?

Only the credit agency providing the report can freeze your report.  Third-parties can freeze your credit report under certain circumstances.  Check with each credit agency for their individual requirements.

Can you freeze credit report online?

Yes.  Each credit agency has a method to request a credit freeze available on their website.

Why Freeze credit report?

The biggest reason is to prevent Identity Theft.  The side benefit is that it prevents the credit agencies to freely use your data for other purposes such as marketing.