Posted by William Charles on September 12, 2017

Published on September 12th, 2017 | by William Charles


Equifax Is Now Allowing Free Credit Freezes Until November 21st

Equifax is involved in a data breach that may have compromised the data of up to 143 million consumers. One of the things that some people have been suggesting as a response to this data breach is to freeze your credit reports, the problem with this is that there is a fee for doing so. The fees vary by state and in response to consumer feedback Equifax are waiving their fees for the next 30 days (until November 21st). This means you need to initiate the freeze before then for it to be free, it will continue to be frozen until you unfreeze it.

The problem with this is that a consumer would actually need to also place a freeze on their Experian & TransUnion reports and that won’t be free. It’s up to each individual to decide whether freezing reports makes sense or not, we’ve provided our suggestions on what you should/shouldn’t do here.

52 Responses to Equifax Is Now Allowing Free Credit Freezes Until November 21st

  1. paul says:

    30 days. LOL

  2. John says:

    This is insulting

  3. P says:

    I don’t get it. You can only freeze the report free for 30 days? There’s a charge after that or they will unfreeze it after 30 days.

  4. MontyFC says:

    Waiving fees for 30 days means until Oct 12-ish. How are you getting Nov 21?

  5. Charles says:

    Say I freeze my Equifax Credit. If in 60 days I make an application that uses Equifax, how does that work? Once Frozen, Is there typically a fee to unfreeze and/or refreeze? Or can I call and they’ll let a pull through at no charge?

    • trant3 says:

      you have to pay to unfreeze after the deadline for free freezes

      • Charles says:

        I appreciate your answer, but that wasn’t really what I was asking. I was trying to ask about a “Date Range Lift” or “Specific Party Lift” or “Thaw” but didn’t really know that terminology to ask that. After reviewing their fees I see why you couldn’t possibly answer that as their fees vary widely by state.
        Fee: (Up to)
        Fee to Freeze: $10
        Date Range Lift: $10
        Specific Party Lift: $10
        Unfreeze: $10
        Lost Pin: $10

        It looks that a number of states including mine are not allowed this option anyways. Out of the states that you have to pay to freeze almost no 2 are alike. Some States have full $10 to Freeze credit report, but no fees for any of the other items. Some states are charged no fees at all for Senior Citizens. Really it’s a crap shoot as to which fees are applicable to you. The best thing to do is view their FEE PDF found here:

  6. trant3 says:

    Just completed the freeze. It was indeed free.

  7. Roman says:

    That is less than peanuts considering the magnitude of the personal information that was leaked by their carelessness.

    • anthonyjh21 says:

      Normally I’d say we should be happy with getting something for free but in this case I agree this is almost insulting. Considering the magnitude of this and how they handled it (in addition to why it happened in the first place) I’d hope they’d do this for at minimum 1 year. It just feels like a half-ass attempt to throw us a bone to calm the masses or to save face with the lawsuits piling up.

  8. El Guapo says:

    Experian might have survived this had they handled it well. Look at BP and the Gulf oil spill. But, with this kind of response, no way. First, they try to trick everyone into signing up for their own credit protection product. Now this.

  9. TPdL says:

    Ugh. I paid for a freeze last week ($10 where I live). Do I get that back? Or do I have to somehow contact them even though they’ve been overwhelmed with traffic since it all happened.

    What a mess. I guess I have to call in.

  10. TomTX says:

    Anyone analyzed their T&C on the freezing for more shady stuff?

    Hey! Free credit freeze! But you give up the right to sue or be in a class action…

  11. lv says:

    Anyone getting this message after tyring to freeze?

    “Additional Information Required
    We’re sorry…we cannot process your online request concerning an Equifax security freeze. To assist us in processing your request please submit in writing the required items outlined below.”

  12. Alex says:

    I’ve contacted my State representatives to sponsor a bill waiving fees for ALL (not just identity victims) on locking/unlocking credit report. Like North and South Carolina and Maine allows now

    Otherwise it’s an incentive for bad behavior, if just 10% of those affected pay Equifax $10 to lock/unlock every year we’re talking about hundreds of millions of pure profit going to Equifax from their screwup.(since marginal cost to lock/unlock online is essentially zero) So they may compromise our data more often if they’re profiting from it so heavily.

    I suggest everyone contact their State legislators too and request they sponsor such a bill as well. Enough is enough!

  13. Mike says:

    While we wait for Equifax to regain a bit of sanity I suggest you at least head to the alerts section of your bank’s website and initiate immediate notification of any changes to your accounts. And make all of your passwords twice as lengthy and more complex while you’re at it.

  14. Dave says:

    Wow, this company sucks.

  15. Sreenivas Satish says:

    Why are freezes charged in the first place? Fee for updating a value in a database? Nonsense.

  16. Leeann Reese says:

    I have a problem with Wells Fargo and know I find that Equifax had a breach iv had a fraudulent stat trussery chk put into my account I’ve been charched insufficient funds all kinds of things what can I do

  17. Americans says:

    uckF Equifax

  18. ChrisH says:

    I hope the mountain of lawsuits puts them out of business even if that means the lawyers wind up with all the money.

  19. Kevin says:

    Equifax has been hacked multiple times in the past couple of years – they learned NOTHING from these events except to sell a bunch of their company stock the day before the company notifies the public of a months old hack involving potentially 143 million customers.

    Now they have the stones to offer free credit protection from another one of their own companies? Oh and they do me the favor of charging me $10 every time I unfreeze my credit report? I hope equifax get’s turned into a smoking crater of lawsuits.

  20. HT says:

    Equifax should be forced to close shop. Credit companies should avoid them like a pest after all this nonsense by greedy management. If everybody freezes his credit reports at ALL credit rating companies they will go out of business quickly, too. No fee income or at least greatly reduced income.

  21. DaVe says:

    The system seems to be down right now… Got all the way to the end and got:

    System Currently Unavailable – Error 500
    We’re sorry. We cannot process your security freeze request online at this time. Please try back later.

  22. mcafeeee says:

    Has anyone actually filed a police report related to the breach?

  23. Vince says:

    The last sentence of this article on Doctor of Credit:

    It’s up to each individual to decide whether freezing reports makes sense or not, we’ve provided our suggestions on what you should/shouldn’t do here.

    is missing the hyperlink where the word here can be clicked leading to this page on Doctor of Credit:

      • tommy says:

        Hey Chuck
        Why does everyone on this forum think they are obliged to pay for credit freeze that too to experian(which is the cause of this mess at first place)? Credit freeze(or unfreeze) has always been always free for life when you are a victim of data breach at all 3 major credit reporting bureaus and that too when one of them (experian in this case) has been where the breach occurred.

        I don’t know if people on this forum are ill informed but as long as one doesn’t fight for their rights, he/she won’t get it. Specially the way experian handled this looks like they want to make it seem as nothing ever happend and they owe nothing. It’s definitely a blunder to loose almost every persons SSN and personal data in the country. They should be sued for it.

  24. Jeremy says:

    It’s not so much that they are covering the cost of updating a single value in the database, but they have to add in the cost of everyone across the country updating that single value at the same time up to x number of times per month. So you then throw in additional support staff for taking calls for people who can’t use the internet, extra people to do verification of identity of people calling in or over the internet to make changes to their profile. If more people are freezing their reports and then forget they froze them, and then they’re denied a credit app, you have additional people confused about why they have an 850 FICO and couldn’t get a gas card. People on this site are extremely well educated about credit as compared to the average consumer. And now imagine supporting the 50% of Americans who aren’t even that knowledgeable.

    Don’t get me wrong, this is a horrible PR nightmare and the company is going to end up paying for this mistake somehow, but there’s more to it than just a database value.

    I think the magnitude of this story hasn’t really hit most people yet. This is not only a big data breach in terms of numbers of people impacted, but somehow we let Equifax fall asleep at the wheel with the motherlode of personal data not properly secured. Imagine if some hacker got complete unfettered access to the IRS databases for months and no one knew. That is the scale we’re talking about.

    Information security is incredibly lax and when it dawns on people just how crazy we’ve been for decades now, IT security analysts will be there with years of cage-rattling posts and warnings to say they told us so.

    • Alex says:

      Oh my goodness Equifax would be required to take something like 100 Megabytes of data every month from 100 million people. How would they ever afford to do that without charging them a billion dollars in fees ? (At $10 for processing each byte for each value) /s

      You know, if the cost of processing calls and mail requesting this would had been an issues, they could just waive the fee for online automated requests.

      Instead they have to be forced to do that like every greedy corporation by passage Elizabeth Warren’s “The Freedom from Equifax Exploitation Act ” (I already contacted my Senate and house representative about it)

      • Jeremy says:

        Nowhere did I equate data usage with fees. A 100 character request that takes 6 man hours to do costs 6 * hourly employee rate + other costs. I don’t mean to excuse their horrible behavior but to provide a business rationale. And even “online automated requests” require employees to maintain and monitor.

        • Alex says:

          The cost that is required to maintain and monitor credit freezes is so trivial that a $5 lifetime fee from 100 million of users for example would produce than half a billion dollars which would be enough to cover that segment in pepetuity, including processing occasional snail mail – which probably would be like 1% of requests if that.

          I don’t understand how they could justify charging a user who wants to freeze and temporarily unfreeze once a quarter $160 a year for 4 agencies at $40 each

          Netflix charges less and it requires billions in infrastructure spending because of the economy of scale.

          Credit bureaus economy of scale -which is the entire US population and much of worldwide one- is only eclipsed by their greed!

  25. Ralph says:

    They are also offering free signup to their TrustedID Premier service for 1 year so something else to consider. After signup, got the following message:

    “You will receive an email with a link to finalize your enrollment and activate your product. Please be patient. Due to the high volume of requests, emails may be delayed. If you have not received your email within a few days, please check your spam and junk folders”.

    Haven’t received the email yet so will see how long that takes to get started.

  26. duke5150 says:

    From Marketwatch:




    When Congress hauls in Equifax CEO Richard Smith to grill him, it can start by asking why he put someone with degrees in music in charge of the company’s data security.

    And then they might also ask him if anyone at the company has been involved in efforts to cover up Susan Mauldin’s lack of educational qualifications since the data breach became public.

    It would be fascinating to hear Smith try to explain both of those extraordinary items.

    If those events don’t put the final nails in his professional coffin, accountability in the U.S. is officially dead. And late Friday both Mauldin and the company’s chief information officer were reported to have retired effective immediately.

  27. Raj says:

    Come on! It’s obvious Equifax wanted to be hacked. Think of all the $$$$ rolling in for credit monitoring there going to make once their free monitoring offers expire. They were intentionally negligent in securing this information because this leek is going to make them and a lot of other monintoring services $$$.

  28. GRR says:

    Successfully had “credit freeze” fees waived for TransUnion and Experian. They claim the fee is required in my state, but after some round and round talk of logic, I succeeded in having it waived.

    My basic logic used during the call was
    1. There isn’t an an Equifax breach letter yet –> there no police report –> therefore no fee waiver as identity theft victim
    2. Equifax call center is broken and all corporate office numbers are on busy or fast busy and unable to get the letters out. Um, and 134 million isn’t a secret that TranUnion or Experian are unaware of.
    3. The fee is **not required** by law, but each company is allowed discretion to charge it. The company can make the discretionary decision to charge or waive the $10 fee.
    4. Equifax has made the discretionary decision to waive the fee nationwide and is not in violation of any state law for doing it whether or not a consumer was involved in the 143m breach.
    5. Now, can you [TransUnion / Experian] waive the fee for me?

    FYI – Innovis (a 4th credit agency) has decided to charge no freeze fee ever, so that shoots down any claim they have to charge it.

    Both TransUnion and Experian stated the consumer credit freeze fee of $10 was waived as a one time courtesy. However, I wouldn’t be entitled to the add/lift fee waivers in the future that a documented identity theft victim would be allowed under law. That’s fine, I just saved $10 + $10 to add the freezes.

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