Friday, August 4, 2017

How to Freeze Your Credit with a Pin

What exactly is a credit freeze?

These credit reporting agencies allow you to seal your credit reports and use a personal identification number (PIN) that only you know and can use to temporarily "thaw" your credit so that legitimate applications for credit and services can be processed. That added layer of security means that thieves can't establish new credit in your name even if they are able to obtain your ID.

Freezing your credit files has no impact whatsoever on your existing lines of credit, such as credit cards. You can continue to use them as you regularly would even when your credit is frozen.

Freezes have been available for free to victims of ID theft for some years, but recently all three of the major credit bureaus adopted new rules allowing non-victims to have access to credit freezes as well for a small fee. In addition, most states and Puerto Rico have adopted laws establishing credit freezes for residents of their state.

Residents of various states may also freeze the credit reports of their minor children. Visit the National Conference of State Legislatures to see what the law is in your state.

The cost ranges from $3-$10 per person per bureau to freeze a credit report; a couple of states have higher fees. *It is imperative that you freeze your credit with all 3 bureaus.*

The cost to "thaw" your reports for one creditor -- or for a specific period of time -- ranges from being free to $10.

Why bother? - We found this one time expense to be more effective than monthly fee based identity security vendors like life lock etc.

Today I needed to un-freeze my credit so a vendor could pull my credit score. "Google call Transunion" did the trick. They were very helpful and it took about 5 minutes. They charge $10 each time you un-freeze your credit.

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