When it comes to protecting your credit file, you've probably heard different terms. Credit freeze, credit monitoring, ID protection, identity theft insurance, credit lock, and credit protection just to name a few. Some sites require a subscription. Others just look sketchy. No wonder people are overwhelmed and give up.
I don't generally recommend paying for a service. Awareness around spending and your credit report are free and readily available to you.
What is a credit freeze?
This service blocks creditors from seeing your information without your specific consent. It's a free service offered by the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion).
Why is this important?
You are less likely to be financially impacted by identity theft
It’s one extra barrier to prevent you from impulsively opening new credit cards
Freezing your child's credit prevents them from identity theft. Thieves target thin credit files. Your children may not know their credit has been ruined until they apply for student loans or their first auto loan.
What information do I need?
Social Security Number
Date of Birth
You may need to provide other proof of identity/residence if requested
Where do I go online?
Everything you want to fight me on:
It's free to place a freeze, lift it temporarily and remove it
If you want to apply for new credit, simply lift the freeze
It won't expire or lift without your explicit permission
You should do this in addition to a paid service (if you already have one)
You can send an end time for freeze lifts so you don't have remember to re-freeze
You will need to lift your credit freeze for "buy now, pay later" programs
If you're shopping around for credit, lift the freeze at each of the three bureaus
You may need to lift your freeze so that you get better car insurance rates when shopping around (did you know they factor this in?)
The more you know! If you need help with this, please reach out. You don't have to be my client for me to assist you with this.