Credit Freezes Help Protect Your Identity
What is a Credit Freeze?
A credit freeze, a.k.a. security freeze, restricts access to your credit file and prevents you (or others) from being able to open any new credit accounts while the freeze is in place. A credit freeze will not prevent your existing creditors from viewing your credit reports, but it will block the release of them to new/potential creditors. For example, if a cybercriminal obtained access to your social security number or other personal information and tried to apply for a loan in your name while your credit was frozen, the account would not be able to be opened.
Why Should I Freeze My Credit?
- Helps protect your identity by reducing the chance that someone could fraudulently open an account in your name
- Gives you peace of mind knowing that your credit reports are secure
- It’s free, and you can do it yourself at any time
- Does not impact your credit score or your ability to use existing credit accounts
How do I Freeze my Credit?
You can place a temporary or permanent freeze on your credit reports with all three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can request a freeze on each of the bureaus’ websites, by mail, or by phone. When you first initiate a credit freeze, you will be given a PIN or password that you can use at any time to lift the freeze.
Get started with a freeze --> Register, or click “Sign in here” for existing account
Add a security freeze --> Freeze my own credit file
Add a freeze --> Create account, or click “Login” at top right for existing account
How do I Thaw my Credit?
At some point, you may want to apply for a mortgage, credit card, loan, or other credit product. You will need to “thaw” your credit by lifting the freeze prior to applying, so the lender will be able to access your credit report to make their application decision.
Looking for more personalized credit advice? Call CCCS of Buffalo at (716) 712-2060 today to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly, qualified, certified credit counselors!