Things To Know About Credit Freeze
Everything is digital in today’s world, our relationships, our social life, and even our financial and personal details. Although it comes with the advantage of accessibility, it would not be smart to presume your information is safe online. This is especially applicable with hackers and cyber criminals always lurking around.
If you are afraid your personal information will be used to create a fake account or even be used to take out loans, you might want to think about freezing your credit account. It is always a better option to consider keeping in mind the cyber threats that we are facing on a daily basis.
But what is it and what does it entail? Come along as we uncover credit freeze and what you need to know about it.
What Is A Credit Freeze?
A credit freeze is basically the act of freezing or holding your credit account, making it ineligible for any credit activities. Freezing your credit account means restricting access to your credit reports as well as your credit score.
A credit freeze can be done by request and will last for as long as you want it to. It will only be reversed when you ask the officials involved to lift the freezing of the said account.
Why Should You Consider Freezing Your Credit Account?
Who does not want the perfect credit score? Thankfully with cheap credit repair options, we can accomplish that. However, freezing your credit would be a smart choice to prevent future fraud.
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of credit freeze to help you make a decision:
An effective way to avoid credit fraud is to freeze your credit account. This is because most companies cannot view frozen credit reports until they are reversed. Thus, it is impossible for lenders to extend credit when they do not have access to your credit file.
The result is that someone who steals your personal information will not be able to create a fraudulent credit account in your name even if they have your Social Security number. When you freeze your credit file, no creditors will be able to access it, and even you will be unable to open accounts in your name. This is a great way to protect yourself from credit fraud.
Sense Of Security
When you freeze your credit reports, it can give you the mental peace and surety that your credit reports are safe, and hackers can not access them. This can be helpful if you spend most of your time worrying about cyber criminals having access to your information.
Credit Score Protection
The best way of protecting your credit score is to remove any unwanted records. Removing this information from your credit reports will help you get a high credit score. But what if your score is too low?
Freezing your credit account lets you hide your credit score from some establishments. A credit freeze gives you the opportunity to work on your credit score first and try to improve it.
There are a lot of cheap credit repair services and options that you can take to earn the closest you can get to the perfect credit score. Any legitimate credit repair company will resolve all the disputes in approximately three to six months.
Free Of Cost
Due to the fact that credit freezing is free of charge, there is no reason for you to avoid taking action to prevent hackers from opening accounts in your name.
You do not have to worry about renewing your credit freezing as it does not come with an expiry date. A credit freeze is valid until you unfreeze it.
How Do You Freeze Your Credit?
You should freeze your credit reports from all three agencies, including Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Online, by phone, or by mail are the fastest and easiest ways to freeze your credit report.
Be sure to make credit-freezing requests to each agency separately.
It is possible to freeze your Experian credit file online or by telephone. You will need your name and other important documents to complete the process.
You need to verify your identity in order to complete the process. If you’re working with Experian, you will need a PIN or password to unlock your credit.
TransUnion And Equifax:
For Equifax and TransUnion, you must create an account to easily manage your Credit freezing process. After answering a few questions for security purposes you can start the process.
Information Required For Credit Freeze
It is a good practice to keep your document ready if you are initiating the process of the credit freeze. The most important documents are:
- Social security number
- Birth certificate
If you are initiating the process through call or email you might also need some other documents like:
- Copy of passport or driver’s license
- Utility bill receipt
- A copy of tax documents
If you are initiating the process by phone call. You should be prepared to answer some authentication questions. Once your account freezes you have to contact them again to unfreeze the account.
When Is The Right Time To Consider A Credit Freeze?
There is no right time to freeze your credit report. But there are certain situations that demand immediate action. If you know a breach has occurred, you should immediately freeze or lock your report.
A proactively locked credit report may be the best way for you to prevent potential fraud, such as identity theft, from occurring. Consider taking precautions if you suspect that your Social Security number or other personal information may have been stolen and could be used to open credit in your name.
Effect Of Credit Freeze On Credit Score
No changes will be made to your credit score or credit accounts as a result of a credit freeze. If you are applying for a loan, getting a home, or a credit card, it will impact your ability to qualify.
You can avoid this by unfreezing credit reports before submitting your application.
If you’re unfreezing your credit files for a short while, give yourself plenty of time to apply for and underwrite a loan. Plan this ahead of time since it can be hard to access your credit files immediately.
How Can You Unfreeze Credit Reports?
The process of “thawing” your credit files is easy and straightforward. Just contact the credit bureaus either by call or online. You have the choice of thawing the credit reports temporarily or permanently.
This whole process is completely free of charge. It takes about an hour to a maximum of three days to lift the freeze completely from your credit reports.
Who Has Access To Your Account Information After Credit Freeze:
Your credit freeze account information is accessible to only a few people. The following people can have access to your credit score or report:
- You can access your credit history or credit report
- Your debt collectors can view your credit score
- In certain cases, the government or child agencies can have access
It is a safe option as it limits the number of people who can see the credit score and report. It helps you in maintaining privacy and security against cyber threats.
A credit freeze is a logical decision if you are faced with cyber threats that could mean your personal information. If you are considering freezing your credit score, it is better to evaluate all the options.
We have discussed all the pros and cons above and the vital information needed to make a final decision. As it is said, that precaution is better than cure.