September 07, 2023
Freezing your credit is an effective way to protect yourself from identity theft and other types of fraud. When you initiate a credit freeze, you essentially lock your credit report, making it inaccessible to most parties. This prevents unauthorized individuals from opening new accounts or taking out loans in your name. However, existing creditors and certain other entities, like government agencies, may still have access to your report. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of freezing your credit with the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Before you initiate a credit freeze, gather the following information:
Call 1-800-685-1111 (New York residents, call 1-800-349-9960)
Write to: Equifax Information Services LLC, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348-5788.
Call 1-888-EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742)
Write to: Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013
Write to: TransUnion LLC, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016-2000
Unfreezing your credit can also be done online, by phone, or by mail, often with a personal identification number (PIN) that you’ll receive when you initiate the freeze.
A credit freeze is an effective measure for protecting your financial identity. Keep in mind that while a freeze prevents new accounts from being opened in your name, it does not prevent fraud on existing accounts, so continue monitoring all financial statements for suspicious activity. Given its importance in today’s digital age, taking steps to secure your financial future should be a cornerstone of your personal security plan.
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