Freeze Your Credit Accounts

You can decide to put a freeze on your credit report.

Putting a freeze on your credit report means that when some company asks one of the three credit bureaus for a copy of your credit file so that they can determine if you are a worthwhile credit risk, that credit bureau will refuse their request.

If the company can’t review your credit file, they won’t agree to extend credit to you. This helps protect you from having others open unauthorized accounts in your name. Thieves won’t be able to establish new bogus accounts.

While the freeze is in effect, you are still able to do all the financial things that you want to do, such as refinance a mortgage, get a new credit card or apply for a new job, but you must ask the credit reporting bureau to temporarily lift the freeze for whichever company will be contacting them.

In order to initiate the freeze, you will need to contact each of the three companies separately.

Each state determines whether or not the reporting company can charge a fee for this service and how much the fee is.

Freezing your account doesn’t last indefinitely. Individual state regulations also decide how long the freeze lasts.

You can also permanently lift the freeze at any time by recontacting each agency.

Placing a credit freeze works well in preventing some cases of ID theft, but it involves a little time, effort and usually a small expense.

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