How do I freeze and thaw my credit report?

  • Equifax: To request a freeze, Equifax wants you to send a certified letter with seven specific elements to Equifax Security Freeze/P.O. Box 105788/ Atlanta, Georgia 30348. The elements are spelled out clearly on the general information page, but they are, basically — name, address, date of birth, SSN, utility bill for proof of address, payment and a police report if you are a victim. Or you can go to: https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp
  • Experian: Before giving you the information you need, Experian will warn you that a security freeze may make your credit life very difficult. Take that with a grain of salt, and then pick your state. You’ll send the request by certified or overnight mail to Experian/ P.O. Box 9554/ Allen, TX 75013. You need to include your name, SSN, date of birth, current and past addresses dating back two years, a copy of your driver’s license, and one utility bill. Or you can go to: https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html
  • TransUnion: Send your freeze requests to TransUnion/Fraud Victim Assistance Department/ P.O. Box 6790/ Fullerton, CA 92834. TransUnion wants the following on the letter: name, address, Social Security Number, a copy of your driver’s license and payment. Or you can go to: https://freeze.transunion.com/sf/securityFreeze/indexProcess

Freezes will cost usually $10 per bureau, depending on your state. Also, if you want to take out a new line of credit, you’ll have to pay to unfreeze your report, and then again to refreeze it. Credit report freezes are free for identity theft victims. For everyone else, it’s a preventative measure, that, considering the possible monetary and time cost of untangling identity theft, could be a wise investment.

 


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