22 December 2014

Identity Theft Expert

Robert Siciliano - IDTheftSecurity.com

540Posts 1,363,344Views 59Comments

Everything you need to know about a Credit Freeze

15 July 2014  |  564 views  |  0

A credit freeze locks down your credit report so lenders can’t see your scores, making your credit/SSN useless to them because they don't know their risk level. 

 

If thieves get ahold of your ID, they can’t get credit in your name as long as your credit is frozen. Freezing your credit will seal your credit reports. You’ll need a PIN to access your credit to allow valid services to check your credit when needed. Freezing won’t affect existing credit lines and are free to victims of ID theft. Since 2008, the three big credit bureaus have allowed non-victims to freeze their credit for a small charge.

When is a credit freeze a good idea?

For anyone 18 and over who has a credit report and those under 18 whose identity is stolen and for whom a report is then generated by default. 

What should I consider before ordering a credit freeze?

Nothing. Just do it. Credit should be frozen across the board, but banks/retailers/lenders have spent millions lobbying to prevent that, as it would eliminate instant credit, and these institutions say that it would "gum up" the system of lending. 

What are the costs?

Free to $15.00 per credit bureau for life, depending on the deal your state attorney general made with the bureau back in 2008. Then free to $5.00 to thaw it each time you apply for new lines of credit. 

Inconvenience: It requires planning large financial decisions and being responsible. So horrible. Otherwise it takes five minutes per bureau to temporarily thaw your credit prior to financing a new line of credit at an auto dealer, mobile phone provider, etc. 

Can a credit freeze hurt your credit score?

NO. 

How does a credit freeze differ from a fraud alert?

Fraud alerts are only 90 days, and they don't freeze your credit; they only alert a lender that you may have had your identity stolen, but don't stop the lender from issuing credit in any way.

Fraud alerts at best are "notifications" that something may have gone wrong with your identity, but only suggest the lender takes additional steps to contact you before establishing credit in your name. It’s a false sense of security. 

Where to Freeze:

Equifax

https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp

Experian

https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html

Transunion

http://www.transunion.com/personal-credit/credit-disputes/credit-freezes.page

Just do it. NOW.

 

TagsSecurity

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)
Log in to receive notifications when someone posts a comment

Latest posts from Robert

Social Media Identity Theft leads to Arrest

19 December 2014  |  1004 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsSecurity

Card Company's boosting Payment Security with Mobile

18 December 2014  |  1159 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsSecurity

Chip and PIN, will It save Us?

17 December 2014  |  943 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsSecurity

Russian Hackers getting rich from your Identity

10 December 2014  |  1271 views  |  0  |  Recommends 0 TagsSecurity

Chip and PIN vs. Chip and Signature Cards

08 December 2014  |  1323 views  |  1  |  Recommends 0 TagsSecurity

Robert's profile

job title Security Analyst
location Boston
member since 2010
Summary profile See full profile »
Security analyst, published author, television news correspondent. Deliver presentations throughout the United States, Canada and internationally on identity theft protection and personal security....

Robert's expertise

Who is commenting on Robert's posts

Iain Montgomery
Otmane EL RHAZI
Ketharaman Swaminathan
Boris Taratine
Michael Rosenstein
Fred Pyziak
Matt Scott
Paul Love
Mike McCormack