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Making a Credit Freeze Request
Since data breaches are inevitable and identity thieves and fraudsters are not going to quit their efforts, you may be wondering how to freeze your credit. Credit freezes are simple to request and can help you prevent thieves from using your credit information for opening new accounts.Use the Credit Freeze Request document if:
If you do not need to apply for credit any time soon, you may want to consider freezing your credit report to help combat identity theft and credit card fraud. Credit Freezes are also powerful tools for helping protect the identity of your vulnerable family members such as your children or elderly parents who, in most cases, are not opening new accounts.Other names for this document:
Credit Freeze Request Form, Security Freeze Request, Credit Report Freeze Request
Credit freezes restrict access to your credit report. Without access to your credit report and credit score, it's difficult for identity thieves to open new lines of credit in your name. If is a good tool to use if you do not need to use your credit. If you plan to use your credit, such as to apply for a loan, you'll need to simply unfreeze or "thaw" your credit to allow creditors to view your credit information.
It is simple to submit Credit Freeze Requests using Rocket Lawyer's request template. Using the document builder, you just fill in a bit of information, and letters for all three credit reporting agencies will be generated.
To make Credit Freeze Request Letters, you need to enter the following information:
Due to recent law changes, the three reporting agencies will be required to provide a web page and phone number for submitting credit freeze requests more quickly. You may notice the changes towards the end of 2018. If you send requests by mail, make sure to use a secured mailing method.
As of September 21, 2018 credit freezes and thaws will be free. Credit freezes and thaws typically had cost five to ten dollars each depending on the applicable state rules. However, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act signed in May 2018 includes a change to consumer credit rules making it unlawful for credit reporting agencies to charge for credit freezes or thaws regardless of the state the consumer lives in.
No, credit freezes do not affect your credit score. While access to your credit reports is blocked, the information needed to create your credit score is not. Your payments and balances are still monitored. You can continue to work on increasing your credit score while the credit freeze is in place.Credit report freeze limitations
A credit report freeze cannot protect you from identity theft that does not require access to your credit reports. You will still need to monitor your identity for problems such as tax or medical fraud, social network or reputation issues, government services fraud, or driver's license fraud. They also cannot protect your existing accounts such as open credit cards. Freezing your credit is just one part of protecting your identity from fraudsters.Credit freeze vs. fraud alert
Credit freezes and fraud alerts are tools intended to help you protect your credit. A fraud alert tells creditors that you may be a victim of identity theft and that they should perform a more thorough vetting before extending credit. For example, if you are applying for a line of credit, the company should contact you to verify that you are indeed the person applying for credit. One advantage to fraud alerts is that you only have to place a request with one reporting agency and then that agency will share the information with the other two credit bureaus. Alerts are free to file and come with one free credit report.Credit freeze vs. credit lock
Credit locks are services offered by credit monitoring agencies. Both credit freezes and credit locks are intended to protect access to your credit reports and score. Services usually require a monthly fee and may include products such as real-time alerts and identity theft insurance. Credit locks are simply an agreement between you and the credit monitoring company and they are not governed by the same laws as credit freezes. Since credit freezes are free and provide increased fraud protection, they are often chosen over credit locks.
Unfreezing your credit reports is simple. If you need to apply for a new line of credit, you may choose to thaw your credit for a short period of time or indefinitely. Unfreezing your credit report will allow creditors access so they can assess your creditworthiness for a new loan such as a mortgage or car loan. The process for removing a credit freeze is as easy as requesting a credit freeze. You can use our form letter to send the necessary information to the three reporting agencies. Keep a copy of your request for your records. Usually, it only takes a few days for the credit reporting agencies to remove the freeze once they receive your request.
For security reasons, the credit agencies will require you to have your Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you lose your PIN, you can request a new PIN in writing or by calling the credit reporting agencies directly.
Other ways we can help you protect your credit,