Some consumers go to great lengths – even literally putting their credit cards in a freezer- to control their spending. Thus, even when they feel like spending, they would have unfreeze their credit cards before they can use them for payment.
Similarly, a credit report freeze can be requested to make it inaccessible from inquiries. In fact, even the owner of the credit report will not be able to access his/her file unless a lift has been made. Thus, in case someone tries to open a new account without your consent, the prospective creditor will not be able to approve the application because the file has been blocked or ‘frozen’. If you plan to apply for a new account, you must first ask for your credit report score to be “thawed”, “defrosted”, or “unfrozen”.
Freezing Your Credit Report
How is the process of credit report freezing done? Unlike a fraud alert, freezing your credit file cannot be done over the telephone. Instead, a consumer must send letter of request to the three major credit reporting agencies and send 2 copies of your identification. There is also a fee of $10 to $12 for each credit reporting agency.
After placing your credit report on freeze, there will be no need for renewals. Your report will stay locked from unauthorized inquiries for up to seven years or until your request for the freeze to be lifted. For example, if you want to apply for a new credit card, you should inform the credit bureau about it at least a few days in advance to prevent delays with your application.
To unfreeze your report, you must be able to provide proofs of identification, the confidential PIN code that you were given when you place your report on freeze, and a statement authorizing the credit bureau to issue your credit report to the specified company. You can also request a definite period for the availability of your credit report score. Unfreezing will cost $10 to $12 for each credit reporting agency.
Benefits of Credit Freeze
The benefits of a credit report freeze is obvious – it blocks out unauthorized parties from accessing your credit file and it immediately alerts the report owner about fraudulent activities or illegal transactions. Putting your report on freeze can also prevent a consumer from carelessly opening new credit card accounts or grabbing offers in a hurry. Indeed, a credit report freeze is a good barrier to prevent quick decisions that can prove to be regrettable later on.
About the Author:
Suzy Vanstrusen is a credit analyst and a writer on the website EZCreditRepairSolutions.com. 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