Unfreeze your credit in one hour. And it’s free.
Happy holidays! While I may not have every item on your wish list, I do come bearing good news. As of September 21, 2018, there have been some positive changes to the laws surrounding credit reports and specifically credit freezes.
A credit freeze is now free in all 50 states with each of the three credit bureaus. If you’re looking to stop all access to your credit report, you can initiate a freeze and it will take place in one business day if completed online or by phone. Even better, when you’re ready to permanently unfreeze or temporarily thaw, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion must make that change active within one hour! No more panicking at the auto financing office when you realize you still had a freeze placed on your file.
What else you need to know:
- You must contact each bureau individually. Bonus: you’ll get a free copy of your report from each bureau!
- A parent or guardian can freeze the credit of a child under 16 or anyone incapacitated.
- A freeze on your credit file does not freeze your credit score. And yes, you can still use your credit cards.
- If you already had a credit freeze in place when the new law took effect, you’re all set. No need to re-do, your credit is still frozen. But also know you won’t get a refund if you paid the first time around.
- This will not prevent the misuse of your existing accounts. You’ll need to continue to monitor your bank, credit card, and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions.
For additional information, check out https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/09/free-credit-freezes-are-here.
And to learn more about the changes to fraud alerts, check out https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0275-place-fraud-alert.