Published on May 22nd, 2018 | by Chuck38
Congress Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Require Free Credit Freezes
A few hours ago, the House passed a bipartisan bill which includes the provision that credit bureaus be required to freeze and unfreeze your credit report free, CNN reports. Thirty-three Democrats voted along with the Republicans to pass the bill, part of a broader financial bill aimed at rolling back some of the Dodd-Frank banking regulations.
Having passed both houses of congress, the bill now awaits the president’s signature before becoming law, a positive outcome of the massive Equifax data breach last year.
A way of limiting credit fraudsters from signing up for accounts using your identity is to freeze the credit reports under your name, making it impossible for banks to approve a new account. The credit reports most often utilized are Experian, Equifax, and Transunion, though there’s also a Chex Systems credit report which is often used for bank account approvals.
It’s possible to freeze and unfreeze your credit report on whim; currently there is a fee in most states (typically $5 or $10) to freeze or unfreeze. Equifax has only waived these fees until July, and this bill will make it obligatory that all credit bureaus nationwide allow freezes and unfreezes at no cost, either electronically or by mail. It also requires credit bureaus to fulfill your request within one business day if made online or over the phone (three business days when requested by mail).
This bill is a step in the right direction in terms of empowering consumers. It’s obviously a pain to freeze and unfreeze three bureaus each time you apply for credit, but at least now the option will be free nationwide.