Freeze your credit report if you are worried about someone opening new accounts with your name or you want to limit companies that can access your credit information.
Your freeze remains in place unit you ask the credit reporting bureau to remove it or temporarily lift it. Usually, it costs you to stop the freeze. The fees for a “thaw” range from $5-10, based on where you live.
To place a freeze, you must contact and provide your basic information to all three of the credit reporting bureaus. Be sure to ask how would lift the freeze and the fee to do so.
Equifax – 800.349.9960
Experian – 888.397.3742
TransUnion – 888.909.8872
A credit freeze does not affect your credit score, nor does it prevent you from getting your free annual credit report. No one can open new accounts in your name or access your credit, however, a credit freeze does not stop companies from sending you credit offers based on prescreening your credit either. To stop those frequent offers, contact 888-5OPTOUT or http://www.optoutprescreen.com.
Another way to foil an identity thief from opening new credit accounts in your name is to request a fraud alert. This doesn’t lock your credit report, but creditors must take steps to verify your identity. To place a fraud alert (which is typically free), contact just one of the credit bureaus above and the others will be notified as well.