Important Points on Credit Report Freeze

You may have already heard about credit freeze but do you really understand what it is and what it means for you? Here are some questions you may be asking about credit freeze and the answers you need.

What is a credit freeze?

A credit freeze can also be called a credit lock because it is literally putting your credit report score on “freeze” or “locked” from everyone who attempts to access it. Not even the owner of the credit report can take a look unless he asks the freeze to be lifted.

What is the advantage of a credit freeze over a fraud alert?

Most creditors simply ignore a fraud alert that is place in a report. Instead of notifying you when someone tries to open a new account in your name, the creditor may just go ahead and approve who may have stolen your identity. This isn’t possible when your credit report is on freeze. No creditor can access your account unless you unfreeze your credit report yourself.

How do you request for a credit freeze?

Placing a credit report score on a freeze can be done by sending a letter to each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). You will need to send in 2 copies of your identification with your letter and a fee of $10 to $12 for each bureau. The cost varies from state to state but should not go beyond $12.

How do you lift a credit freeze?

If you want to apply for a credit card, a home loan or any type of new credit, contact the relevant credit bureau and you will be given a password or PIN that you will use to unfreeze your report. Unfreezing can take from just a few minutes to a few days depending on the credit bureau holding your report.

Should you get a credit freeze?

Some people may dislike credit freeze because of its inconvenience but if you think about how it will protect your credit report from identity theft, the fees and the inconvenience may well be worth it.

What are the limitations of a credit freeze?

A credit freeze does not prevent your current creditors from accessing your file. It only locks out new creditors from accessing your file. Also, it does not completely protect you from identity thieves who may try out other forms of fraud aside from opening new accounts in your name. So even if a credit freeze is already in place, you still need to be vigilant about protecting yourself from fraud.


About the Author:

Suzy Vanstrusen is a credit analyst and a writer on the website She has been providing consumers with tips and wise information about credit repair as well as helping you out more with your bad credit loans.  Copyright © 2010

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