Credit Freeze / Security Freeze

credit freeze

As of September 21st, 2018 credit freezes and unfreezes are now free nationwide

A credit freeze (sometimes called a security freeze, credit report freeze or credit lock) makes an individuals credit report inaccessible. They are mostly used by consumers who are the victim of identity theft that want to prevent the thieves from starting new lines of credit in their names. This works because creditors will pull an individuals credit report before approving them for new credit, if they are unable to pull the credit report due to a credit freeze they’ll know something is suspicious and the application will be denied. Freezes also prevent credit scores (such as the FICO score) from being accessed as these are based on an individuals credit report.

When an individual places a freeze on their credit report, they’ll be provided with a PIN or password which needs to be used whenever they want to: unfreeze the report for a specific period of time, allow a specific third party (e.g employer, creditor, insurer, etc) to access the report or remove the freeze entirely. Whenever one of these actions is performed the individual will need to prove their entity along with providing this PIN/password.

Creditors that already have an existing relationship with an individual (e.g a credit card issuer whom the individual has a card with) are still able to access that individuals credit report – but this must not be used to extend new lines of credit.

Adding A Credit Freeze

For a credit freeze to be successful an individual will need to place one on each of their credit reports (every individual has three credit reports, one with each of the three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax & Experian).

TransUnion

  • Online at: https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
  • Via phone: 1-888-909-8872
  • By certified mail (consumers should make sure they get a return receipt): TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA. 92834
  • Unfreezing an account: Online or call 1-888-909-8872

Equifax

Experian

For consumers wanting to freeze their credit report by mail, you’ll need to send a letter that includes all of the relevant details. We’ve provided a sample letter, which you can access by clicking here. Make sure to include the attachments requested (these can be found at the bottom of the sample letter).

Cost Of Placing/Removing A Credit Freeze

As of September 21st, 2018 credit freezes and unfreezes are now free nationwide.

Credit freezing is regulated by state laws and thus the fees for freezing a credit report vary from state to state. For states with no applicable law (Alabama & Michigan are the only ones remaining) the credit bureaus charge a fee of $10 to freeze the report and $10 to unfreeze it.

By State:

Security Freeze Fee Information Table
StateRequirementsFee Information
AddLiftRemove
AA, AP
and AE
addresses
(
Armed Forces)*
Identity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
AlabamaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Age 65 years or olderFree**$10.00Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
AlaskaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$5.00$2.00Free**
ArizonaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$5.00$5.00Free**
ArkansasIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Age 65 years or olderFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$5.00Free**Free**
CaliforniaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Age 65 years or older$5.00$5.00Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
ColoradoIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-VictimFree**
(initial request)
$10.00 (subsequent requests after the initial freeze was removed)
$10.00Free**
ConnecticutIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
DelawareIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Age 65 years or older$5.00FreeFree**
Protected Consumer$5.00N/AFree**
Non-victim$10.00Free**Free**
District of ColumbiaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00Free**Free**
FloridaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Age 65 years or olderFree**
(initial request)
$10.00 (subsequent requests after the initial freeze was removed)
$10.00Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
GeorgiaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Age 65 years or olderFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$3.00$3.00Free**
Guam*Identity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
HawaiiIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$5.00$5.00Free**
IdahoIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$6.00$6.00Free**
IllinoisIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Age 65 years or olderFree**$10.00Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
IndianaIdentity Theft VictimFreeFreeFree**
Non-VictimFreeFreeFree**
IowaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$12.00Free**
KansasIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$5.00$5.00Free**
Kentucky (expires after seven years)Identity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
LouisianaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Age 62 years or olderFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$8.00Free**
MaineIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
MarylandIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$5.00$5.00Free**
Protected Consumer$5.00N/AFree**
Massa-
chusetts
Identity Theft Victim and Victim’s SpouseFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$5.00$5.00Free**
Michigan*Identity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
MinnesotaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$5.00$5.00Free**
MississippiIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
MissouriIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$5.00$5.00Free**
MontanaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$3.00$3.00Free**
NebraskaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Minors (child under the age of 19)Free**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$3.00$3.00Free**
NevadaIdentity Theft Victim or
Age 65 years or older
Free**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
New HampshireIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
New JerseyIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-VictimFree**$5.00Free**
New MexicoIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Age 65 years or olderFree**Free**Free**
Non-VictimFreeFreeFree**
New YorkIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Victims of domestic abuseFree**Free**Free**
Non-VictimFree** (Initial Request) $5.00 (subsequent requests after the initial freeze was removed)$5.00Free**
North CarolinaIdentity Theft Victim and Victim’s SpouseFree**Free**Free**
Age 62 years or olderFree**Free**Free**
Non-VictimFreeFreeFree**
North DakotaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$5.00$5.00Free**
OhioIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$5.00$5.00Free**
OklahomaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Age 65 years or olderFree**
(initial Request)
$10.00 (subsequent requests after initial freeze was removed)
$10.00Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
OregonIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
Protected Consumer$10.00N/AFree**
Pennsylvania (expires after seven years)Identity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Age 65 years or olderFree**$10.00Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
Puerto Rico*Identity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
Rhode IslandIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Age 65 years or olderFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
South CarolinaIdentity Theft VictimFreeFreeFree**
Non-VictimFreeFreeFree**
South Dakota (expires after seven years)Identity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-victim$10.00$10.00Free**
TennesseeIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$7.50Free**Free**
TexasIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
UtahIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
VermontIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$5.00Free**
Virgin
Islands*
Identity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
VirginiaIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00Free**Free**
WashingtonIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Age 65 years or olderFree**FreeFree**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
West
Virginia
Identity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$5.00$5.00Free**
WisconsinIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
WyomingIdentity Theft VictimFree**Free**Free**
Non-Victim$10.00$10.00Free**
Fees are subject to change without notice.
*These states have not passed a Security Freeze law and will be processed in accordance to the default fees.
**In order to be eligible for free Security Freeze services, you may be required to provide proof of eligibility by mail.

F.A.Q’s About Credit Freezes

What’s The Difference Between A Credit Freeze & Fraud Alert?

  • A credit freeze stops all access to an individuals credit report. A fraud alert allows creditors to view an individuals credit report once they have established their identity.
  • Credit freezes are governed by state laws and prices vary state to state. Fraud alerts are governed by federal laws and are free to replace and remove for victims of identity theft.

Does Putting A Credit Freeze On My Credit Report Hurt My Credit Score?

No, placing a credit freeze (or fraud alert) will not harm your credit score. If you’re the victim of identity theft it’s important to check your credit report for anything suspicious. If something is found, report it to the authorities and the creditor who granted the credit. Once you’ve received a police report, you can dispute the item with the credit bureaus to have it removed (this police report is used as supporting evidence).

Learn how to dispute items shown on your credit report

[RELATEDWhich Credit Card Issuers Will Approve an Application with a Frozen Credit Report?]

30
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
James
James

Is experian identityworks plus freezing instant?

Belinda C.
Belinda C.

Your information is spot on accurate! Due to Criminal Identity Theft, I’ve had a Credit Freeze on myself since 2012. It truly gave me the added layer of protection. The only downfall is not being able to utilize an instant approval of any credit card applications. I’m considering removing it soon as its successfully served it’s purpose!

Thank you for the wealth of informative & trustworthy credit information!

Belinda C.

nbigs
nbigs

This might need some updating, all credit freezes are free due to federal law beginning September 21, 2018

Josh
Josh

It may be a good idea to add Lexis Nexus to this 🙂

Mr_Oct
Mr_Oct

Do all 3 credit bureau accounts have to be open in order to have new credit lines extended? Or could I conceivable freeze 1 or 2 & Have banks look at the score/report of my choosing & issue new credit based on that/

tim
tim

Is there really any reason to unfreeze equifax? Wouldn’t an issuer jsut use another agency or would they just decline?

Jocelyn Walker
Jocelyn Walker

You gave the wrong mailing address for Experian and Equifax. You swapped addresses. Experian is at Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013
Equifax is at P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta GA 30348. (NOT 30340)
I now have doubts about the rest of your information. Post Office pointed out no Box 105788 at 30340
so I had to send paperwork to another completely different P O Box for Equifax – just hope it reaches the correct department

P
P

I just put a freeze on my experian to apply for capital one cc. Is the freeze instantaneous, so if I apply now, experian will not be accessed?

Leticia
Leticia

I have been able to freeze my credit with Transunion and Experian over the phone but Equifax will NOT let me do it!! WHY/ I don’t trust them to handle any letter I send with my SSN.
Also I signed up for the Trusted ID one year “protection” they are offering but now I’ve been reading that the sign-up website may not be safe! Does it help to decline this “protection” once they send the confirmation email, or do they even provide that option? Thanks!

Debt Hater

Does this mean if I want to temporarily lift the credit freeze for an application after 30 days I’ll have to pay? Seems like a way for them to actually make more money in the long run…