Financial Tips

What is a Credit Freeze?

If you break into a sweat at the thought of identity theft, you might want to consider a credit freeze.

A credit freeze blocks access to your credit report, which means no one – not even you – will be able to open a new credit account or take out a loan in your name while this security freeze is in effect.

It works like this:
  • Since financial institutions or other businesses check your credit report before approving loans or credit cards, a freeze blocks that from happening.
  • To freeze your credit, you’ll need to contact three main credit bureaus and provide some required personal information. Those bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. It is recommended that you do it either online or by telephone to speed the process.
  • After access to your reports has been frozen, you can either temporarily lift or completely remove the freeze so lenders or creditors can access your reports if you need to apply for a loan, credit card, or utility service.

A freeze won’t block you from being able to use your own credit or bank cards, but it also won’t protect you from other types of fraud that don’t require credit checks, such as someone filing taxes in your name or stealing credit card or financial account numbers.

In a world where data breaches and identity theft can affect you financially, a credit freeze is a great way to help protect you and your money.

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