Credit Freeze Laws And Fees
Credit freeze laws vary from one State to another which may impose different fees and requirements for placing and lifting a freeze.
A credit security freeze is usually placed to prevent credit bureaus from sharing your credit report with others and stop creditors from viewing your information which would prevent them from extending new credit or increasing existing credit line. Under State credit freeze laws, a consumer may temporarily or permanently remove a credit security freeze. Also, under current security freeze laws, creditors for whom you have lifted the security freeze or entities which are exempt by law may still access your credit information.
Credit freeze may be lifted temporarily or for certain creditors with whom you regularly engage in business. Since the placement and lifting of credit freeze impact decisions made regarding your credit transactions, the laws allow consumers to unfreeze credit reports for certain creditors and for a limited time.
Credit freeze may be placed or lifted only by the credit report owner. Typically, a security freeze will generally remain on your credit file until you request its removal or, you request a temporary lift of the credit security freeze for a specific creditor or creditors, or specific period of time, as applicable under State laws or offered by credit reporting agencies.
As mentioned, placing and lifting a credit freeze may be time consuming therefore consumers must plan ahead and have a strategy for placing and lifting a credit security freeze. Under credit freeze processes, it may take up to three business days to process a request to temporarily lift a security freeze. Additionally, you may not be able to request a temporary lift of a security freeze during non-business hours or on weekends.
In some States, if you are an identity theft victim you may be eligible for free credit freeze services as provided by your State's credit freeze laws. You will need to provide an identity theft report or similar documents as required by your State.
Although State credit freeze requirements vary for submitting and lifting credit freeze, in some cases, it is either required or preferable that you request placement and/or lifting of a credit freeze in writing and by mail. Your written credit freeze request must include your complete name, including any suffix (e.g. Jr., Sr., etc.), complete address, Social Security Number and date of birth. Once your credit freeze placement is processed, you will be provided a personal identification number by the credit reporting agencies for future credit freeze management.
In order to lift a credit freeze temporarily, you must submit all of the following information along with the personal identification number:
Date range, if your State allows for a date range lift such as June 1st to June 30th, or complete information regarding the creditor who is entitled to receive your credit information if your State allows for specific creditor freeze lift.
For a security freeze to be removed permanently, you must submit two forms of identification along with your assigned personal identification number.
The security freeze fees vary by State and may be waived for identity theft victims. Please click this Equifax link to learn more about credit freeze laws by State. Or, to request a credit freeze placement, contact any of the credit reporting agencies listed below in writing to request more information.
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, Georgia 30348
TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance
Fullerton, CA 92834
Experian Security Freeze
Allen, TX 75013