What is a credit freeze?
Also known as a security freeze, this free tool lets you restrict access to your credit report, which in turn makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. That’s because most creditors need to see your credit report before they approve a new account. If they can’t see your report, they may not extend the credit.
Does a credit freeze affect my credit score?
No. A credit freeze does not affect your credit score.
A credit freeze also does not:
Prevent you from getting your free annual credit report
Keep you from opening a new account, applying for a job, renting an apartment, or buying insurance. But if you’re doing any of these, you’ll need to lift the freeze temporarily, either for a specific time or for a specific party, say, a potential landlord or employer. It’s free to lift the freeze and free to place it again when you’re done accessing your credit.
Prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts. You still need to monitor all bank, credit card and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions.
How do I lift a freeze?
A freeze remains in place until you ask the credit bureau to temporarily lift it or remove it altogether. If the request is made online or by phone, a credit bureau must lift a freeze within one hour. If the request is made by mail, then the bureau must lift the freeze no later than three business days after getting your request.
If you opt for a temporary lift because you are applying for credit or a job, and you can find out which credit bureau the business will contact for your file, you can save some time by lifting the freeze only at that particular credit bureau. Otherwise, you need to make the request with all three credit bureaus.
Estimated time needed to complete the freeze?
Typical about 10-15 for each (1). But it took me only about 30min total.
Be Sure to Freeze All (3) credit unions
How do I place a freeze on my credit reports?