Ever since the Equifax data breach, credit companies have provided multiple ways for consumers to protect themselves. One of the latest and most popular trends are credit freezes.
What is freezing your credit?
A credit freeze is when your credit report is made unaccessible to any and all parties, including banks, credit unions, and more.
Freezing your credit will help protect your credit by preventing identity thieves from opening your credit reports. After freezing your account, identity thieves will not have the ability to open up credit accounts in your name. The credit account will be rejected by the lender because they are unable to obtain access to your credit reports.
If you have any reason to believe your information may be in jeopardy, it is recommended that you put a freeze on your credit. Consumers are still able to use their credit when their account is frozen, it will just prevent others from opening any new credit accounts.
How can I freeze my account?
You will need to pay a visit to the credit bureau(s) where you plan on freezing your account and set up an account or PIN online so you are able to manage the status of your account. After setting this up, you will be able to manually freeze and unfreeze your credit accounts online.
It is important to note that unfreezing can take time to process if you are planning to open a new line of credit. You can set up a date ahead of time to freeze or unfreeze a credit account. This can be helpful if you are planning to take out a loan you can set an unfreezing time for your credit taking away the issue of not being approved due to a frozen account.
Credit freeze vs credit lock
Although freezing your credit is an option, locking your credit may be a more efficient option depending on your circumstances. Unlike credit freeze, a credit lock is a much quicker process to undo. A credit lock is the simple press of a button to unlock your credit report where as a credit freeze is a longer process with more identifying information to provide.
Cost is another difference between a credit freeze and credit lock. A credit lock can cost upwards of $500 per year for all three major credit bureaus.
Credit freezes and credit locks are a great way to prevent identity thieves from stealing your sensitive information. If you have less than perfect credit and don’t know where to go, CrediReady can help.
Our trusted network of credit repair experts can boost your score and help you qualify for the credit you need. Take a moment to fill out our free no-obligation credit repair inquiry form and start fixing your credit today!