Freeze your credit with all bureaus
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There are many reasons you might decide to freeze your credit or lock your credit report down. These include identity theft or worries about a data breach.
If you’re worried your personal information is at risk, freezing your credit is a consideration.
How does a credit freeze work?
Freezing your credit means you are sealing your credit reports, which stops new lines of credit from being opened. A credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, means potential creditors can’t get your report. There is no cost to place a freeze.
Freezing your credit will not stop all access to your credit report. There are some scenarios that allow for existing creditors, law enforcement agencies, and other government agencies to access your report. A credit freeze won’t undo any existing damage, and it will not impact any existing lines of credit. It doesn’t protect data if it has already been compromised.
Freezing your credit is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. It literally freezes any new credit or loan requests from being approved. If you know you will be applying for a loan soon, consider holding off on freezing your credit.
Once you freeze your credit, it will remain frozen until you directly request the freeze be removed. Once a credit reporting agency receives a request from you to remove a security freeze and is able to successfully identify you, they must remove it no later than 1 hour after a telephone request, or 3 business days after a mailed request.
Keep in mind, a credit freeze doesn’t discriminate. It could block legitimate credit checks you may need. If you need a credit report because you are applying for a loan, a potential job, or renting an apartment, you would need to call each credit bureau those companies will be using and have them lift the freeze.
How to freeze your credit across all credit bureaus
1. Contact each credit reporting company
- Equifax: 800.685.1111
- Experian: 888.397.3742
- TransUnion: 888.909.8872
2. Request a credit freeze: You will receive a pin. Keep it in a safe place.
3. Mark your calendar: Washington and Idaho credit freezes are permanent until removal is requested.
4. Update your files: Make sure to keep copies of letters and record dates you made requests.
What happens if I need to buy something?
If you need to open a new credit card, loan, or even know a potential employer might be pulling your credit, you can request a temporary lift. If you know which credit bureau they are contacting, you can contact just that particular company.
A credit freeze does not close your current accounts. If a debit or credit card has been stolen, freezing your credit won’t protect charges from being made. You can use the Card Freeze feature in the Mobile App. This is only a temporary solution but can be done instantaneously, putting time back on your side.
Remember, Numerica is a partner in your financial well-being. If you are a victim of identity theft or want to learn more about protecting your accounts, call 800.433.1837