In order to prevent fraudsters from accessing your credit reports and opening false accounts, a credit freeze prevents access to your credit reports. Before making a decision, a lender or credit card issuer usually does a credit check on someone who requests credit using your personal information.
Steps To Freeze Credit
One strategy to prevent identity thieves from obtaining your information is to freeze your credit report. It is more difficult for someone to obtain credit in your name fraudulently when you have a credit freeze in place, which limits access to your credit to your current creditors and may only be lifted upon your request.
Speak with your credit card company
Check your monthly bill or the back of your credit card for the customer service number. For contact details, you can also go to the bank’s website.
Verify Your Identity
You will need to provide identification when you phone the customer service hotline. Giving personal information such as your name, card number, and occasionally your Social Security number or other verification credentials is required for this. It’s a good idea to start the credit freeze process after obtaining all the necessary paperwork. Although the standards for each of the three credit agencies vary slightly, you will typically need to submit the following information:
- Number from Social Security.
- the birthdate.
Moreover, you might require the following, depending on whether you apply for the credit freeze online, over the phone, or by mail:
- a duplicate of your military ID, passport, or driver’s license.
- copies of utility bills, bank statements, and tax records.
- An electric bill serves as proof of address.
Remember that you’ll also need to provide answers to certain verification questions if you freeze your credit over the phone.
Request a Freeze
Let the customer support agent know that you would like your credit card to be frozen. Make it explicit how long you want the freeze to last (e.g., permanently or only temporarily while you take care of a security issue).
Observe the Bank’s Guidelines
You will receive detailed instructions from the bank regarding the application of the freeze. If you need to use the card again, they might also explain how to temporarily remove the freeze.
Note: It’s crucial to understand the distinction between freezing and canceling your credit card. Your card’s use is momentarily suspended when you freeze it, but your account is still open. You can contact your credit card issuer to initiate the distinct procedure of canceling your card.
In addition to offering an extra layer of protection against identity theft and unauthorized access to your credit reports, freezing your credit is a powerful tool that can give you peace of mind. When used in conjunction with strong security procedures and routine credit monitoring, a credit freeze can provide you the confidence you need to successfully negotiate the ever-complex financial landscape.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to freeze your credit report at no cost?
In order to stop lenders from monitoring your credit while applying for a new account, you can place a free credit freeze. It’s a fantastic method to manage who has access to your credit.
Do I need to phone all three credit bureaus for a credit freeze?
To freeze your credit, you need to get in touch with all three credit bureaus. Credit freezes, on the other hand, don’t impact your credit score and are free to lift at any moment.
What is more advantageous than a credit freeze?
A free option known as a fraud alert is a less drastic substitute for credit locks and freezes. Lenders can view your credit history thanks to fraud alerts, but before any credit applications are approved or new accounts are opened in your name, identification verification is required.
Does freezing my credit hurt my score?
Your credit score is unaffected by a credit freeze. It will have no impact whatsoever on your credit score.
Who Should Get A Credit Freeze ?
You should apply for a credit freeze if your identity has been stolen, your personal information was compromised in a data breach, or you have grounds to suspect that identity theft is going to occur. By placing a credit freeze, you stop identity thieves from creating accounts in your name and destroying your credit.