Thursday , June 24 2021

Freezing your credit now is free

Credit locks are now free, but how do you sign up?

Wealth and Wants with Ted Rossman

Ted Rossman has seven years experience in credit card and personal finance as a member of the award-winning communications department of and its sister sites The Points Guy and Bankrate.

As I discussed in a previous one
to send
today is a big day for consumers because now it's free to freeze yours
credit in all 50 states. This is the best way to prevent scammers
open credit accounts in your name. But exactly how do you start a credit lock?

The easiest way to do this is online.

  • Equifax,
    Experian and TransUnion accept everyone

    online credit blocking requests.
  • You will need to start the contact with all three offices
  • It's an easy process this should take only a few minutes; you have just
    you need to enter some personal information such as name, address and social
    Security number.
  • You can also block the credit with all three offices of
    telephone or post. And TransUnion allows blocking via its mobile app.

How to unlock your credit

It is important to note that you will receive a personal message
identification number (PIN) when the credit is blocked. Keep it somewhere
sure. You'll need it every time you want to remove the credit lock. Quite right,
the credit locks are so good. They plan anyone from the opening of the credit in
your name, you too.

When you are legitimately in the market for a new credit
paper, mortgage, car loan or anything else that requires a credit check, you
it will be necessary to notify Equifax, Experian and TransUnion through the methods listed
above – the same used to freeze your credit – temporarily
raise the freezing.

See related: Credit monitoring: when is it worth paying?

The new law requires the withdrawal of credit blocks
less than an hour, but I advise you to give yourself a little more time. For example,
if you plan to go shopping early, I would freeze around three
working days before applying for a car loan. This gives you a grace period
in the event that an unexpected delay occurs. You do not want to be stuck playing with you
inch in the office of the chief financial officer at the local car dealership, unable to do so
secure financing because your credit is frozen, you can not get the website
collaborate and there is a long wait to speak with a telephone representative.

What could still be improved

While I love the concept of free free credit – until
recently, commissions were as high as $ 30 to freeze your credit and another $ 30
whenever you needed to lift the freeze – I think it would be even better if
The default setting for your credit is frozen. This would be similar to
automatic enrollment for retirement plans at work, a practice that has
great impulse to participation.

It would be difficult to obtain this type of mandate
Congress, so a compromise could be to automatically freeze everyone's credit
up to the age of 18. A lot of child identity thefts occur, and it is not superior
mind for parents to check the credit report of their elementary schoolboy because
there should not be anything there. If the social security number of a child is
compromise, often goes unnoticed for many years. Even more realistically,
I think a credit lock initiated with an office should be automatically
extended to the other two.

See related: How to check your child's credit report

And the process of dealing with a lost PIN should
absolutely to streamline. Unfortunately one of my colleagues found it
in this situation, and she is having a good deal of time unlocking her credit. The
the offices say they offer a way around this, but my colleague is finding this
very confusing and time-consuming, and the customer service representatives he talked about
with I was not very helpful.

The very nature of a PIN seems to have been overcome. Case in point: when
consumers have frozen their credit with Equifax immediately following the 2017 company data
violation, Equifax issued PINs that were simply the date and time at which the blockage was
statement, rather than random numbers. It was not a very safe way to deal with
a data security problem! Crooks could track down quite easily, just like
They can look for your mother's maiden name, your pet's name and the answers to
other potentially defective security questions. That's why I'm a big fan of the use of biometrics
for secure identification, but it will take a while before these practices
go mainstream.

Credit locks are not perfect, but they are the best defense
you have against identity theft and are now free all over the United States.
This is a consumer victory worth celebrating.

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