Keep the fraudsters and identity thieves from opening accounts in your name, freeze your credit reports.
If you are serious about improving and protecting your credit scores, freezing your credit reports is essential. Do it now.
The previous posting covered the importance of monitoring your credit reports, bank accounts and credit card activity during this time of year when we are actively shopping and traveling. Keep thieves and fraudsters from getting into your accounts. The full post is Caution!! Thieves Love This Time Of Year. Part 1 of 2
The safety and security of our communities continues to be a top priority at Credit Repair USA. We are excited to provide our customers and friends with the knowledge and tools they need to protect themselves from fraud. Education truly is key to putting fraudsters in their place and creating a safer financial environment for everyone. Please remember, we are always here to help. If you ever have any questions about your financial security, please contact us.
Part 2: Freeze Credit Reports
What is a Credit Freeze?
A credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, is the best way to help prevent new accounts from being opened in your name. It’s absolutely free to freeze and unfreeze your credit, and it won’t affect your credit score.
A credit freeze restricts access to your credit report, protecting against scammers' attempts to access your credit reports and open fraudulent accounts while the freeze is in place. When someone applies for credit using your personal information, a lender or card issuer typically checks your credit before making a decision. When your credit is frozen, the potential creditor cannot see the data required to approve the application.
You can temporarily lift (more about this in a minute) the credit freeze if you need to apply for new credit. When the freeze is in place, you will still be able to do things like apply for a job, rent an apartment, or buy insurance without lifting or removing it.
Caution: A freeze can give you a false sense of security. You may still be susceptible to fraudulent charges on an existing credit account if it’s been compromised, or health care or tax refund scams involving your Social Security number. It’s still important to check monthly statements carefully for signs of fraudulent activity.
How to freeze your credit
So how do you freeze your credit? Remember it is free. Contact each of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion by visiting the companies' websites using the links or call the numbers below:
- Equifax: Take control of your Equifax® credit report, (800) 685-1111
- Experian: Security Freeze, (888) 397-3742
- TransUnion: Credit Help, (888) 909-8872
How to unfreeze your credit
Go to each of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, websites and use the account you used to freeze your credit to unfreeze your credit. You may also be able to unfreeze your credit by phone or postal mail if you can provide certain verifying information. Unless you use postal mail, unfreezing typically takes effect within minutes of requesting it.
It can be somewhat inconvenient, because you need to remember to lift the freeze when you want to apply for credit. That inconvenience pales in comparison to having to unwind fraud or identity theft, though.
When you are applying for credit, ask the creditor which credit bureau it will use to check your credit and unfreeze only that one. Or, if you’re shopping for a loan and may make several applications in a short period, you may choose to lift the freeze at all three major credit bureaus.
Always choose to unfreeze for a specified time period, after which the freeze automatically resumes.
Protect your loved ones and friends by sharing this information. There is also a way to protect and freeze childrens’ reports too.
Together we can create a safer financial environment. We recommend credit freezes with our clients, have frozen our own credit reports, and can answer your questions. Please contact us with any questions and direct your family and friends to contact us too. Credit Repair USA provides free credit freeze guidance, free credit report reviews, and can answer your credit or financial questions. Contact Us and let us help you.
We use affiliate links, when you click and purchase from another company, we may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Please know, any company we work with must be good enough for our dearest friends and families.