Placing a Security Freeze on your Consumer Credit Report
You have the right to place a security freeze on your consumer credit report. Federal law mandates that a consumer reporting agency allow a consumer to place, lift, or remove a security freeze free of charge. The security freeze prohibits a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your consumer report without your express authorization. A security freeze may be requested by sending a request either by toll-free telephone, secure electronic means (Equifax Security Freeze 1-888-298-0045 https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/; Experian Security Freeze 1-888-397-3742 https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html; TransUnion Security Freeze 1-888-909-8872 https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze) or mail (certified, overnight, regular stamped) to a consumer reporting agency.
The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans or services from being approved in your name without your consent. A security freeze may delay, interfere with, or prevent the timely approval of any subsequent credit request or application you make regarding new loans, credit, mortgage, insurance, government services or payments, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular phone, utilities, digital signature, internet credit card transactions or other services, including an extension of credit at point of sale.
In order to request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information to the consumer reporting agency:
- Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.); social security number; and date of birth;
- If you have moved in the past five years, the addresses where you previously lived in those years;
- Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
- A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card such as state driver’s license or I.D. card or a military I.D. card;
- Social security card, pay stub, or W2; and
- If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning the identity theft.
The consumer reporting agencies have three business days after receiving your request to place a security freeze on your credit report, and they must send a written confirmation to you within five business days, providing you with a unique personal identification number or password, or both, that you can use to authorize the removal or lifting of the security freeze.