Posted by William Charles on May 26, 2015
Credit Cards

Published on May 26th, 2015 | by William Charles


Two Credit Bureaus You Should Freeze Before You Apply For A U.S Bank Credit Card

We’re re-posting this post due to the name change of IDA (now called SageStream) and they fact that it’s possible to request these freezes via fax. Thanks goes to Kenny from Miles4more first posting about the ability to fax in these requests.

U.S Bank is known as one of the toughest credit card issuers to receive an approval from, especially if you’ve applied for multiple cards in a short space of time. One way to improve your chances of approval is to freeze two of the lesser known credit bureaus that U.S Bank pulls for every applicant.

No other banks (that I know of) actually use these credit bureaus, so by freezing them you won’t hurt your chances of being approved for their cards. U.S Bank also still approves applicants if they aren’t able to access these reports.

The two companies you want to freeze are SageStream (formerly ID Analytics) & ARS. Below we show you how to freeze both, followed by a sample letter.

Freeze SageStream (formerly ID Analytics)

  • Go to their official website to retrieve their mailing address or fax number
  • Send a certified letter or fax requesting your IDA report be frozen
  • Make sure to include the following necessary information:
    • First and last name
    • Social security number
    • Date of birth
    • Primary phone number
    • Address including ZIP code
  • Two of the following forms of identification:
    1. A copy of a state-issued drivers license or state identification card.
    2. A copy of a “recent” cable, utility, or phone statement with an address matching the address provided in Step 1. “Recent” is defined as no more than 60 days old from the date of IDA, Inc’s receipt of a written request.
    3. A copy of a SSN card.
    4. A copy of a birth certificate.
    5. A copy of a U.S. passport (picture page only).
    6. A copy of a voided consumer check with an address matching the address you provided in Step 1.
    7. A copy of an Alien Registration Card.

For those living in Pennsylvania it’s not possible to fax in your request for this report to be frozen.

Freezing ARS (Advanced Resolution Services)

ARS is a subsidiary of Visa and they don’t have a dedicated website (which is really in violation of the FCRA as contact information is supposed to be clearly displayed and available to the general public).

  • ARS doesn’t have a website but here is their contact information: 5005 Rockside Road, Suite 600
    Independence, OH 44131 or fax: 216-615-7642
  • Send a certified letter or fax asking for your credit report to be frozen
  • Include all of the following information
    • First and last name
    • Social security number
    • Full address
    • Primary contact number
    • Your signature
  • Two forms of identification:
    • A copy of a state-issued drivers license or state identification card.
    • A copy of a U.S. passport (picture page only)
    • A copy of a SSN card
    • A copy of a birth certificate
    • A copy of an Alien Registration Card

Sample Letter

Advanced Resolution Service, INC <Company Name>
5005 Rockside Road, Suite 600 <Street Address>
Independence, OH 44131 <City, State, Postcode>

To Whom It May Concern

I’m writing to you to put a security freeze on my credit report. Under the Fair Credit Report Act you’re required to comply. My information is clearly shown below:

  • Full Name: <First Name>, <Last Name>
  • Social Security Number: <SSN>
  • Current Address: <Current Address>
  • Previous Address: <Only Include If You Moved In The Last 2 Years>
  • Primary Contact Number: <Primary Contact Number>

I’ve included the following two documents that verify my identity:

  • <Name of document one>
  • <Name of document two>

After this credit freeze has been filed, can you also please send me written confirmation to the address listed above.

Kind regards,

<First Name>, <Last Name>


<Date signed>

Final Word

If you’re interested to see what’s actually in your credit report from each of these credit reporting agencies, you also have the right to see a copy once per year. You shouldn’t have any issue requesting this alongside your credit freeze. Make sure you follow all of these steps before applying for any U.S Bank card.

Hat tip to Hack My Trip

70 Responses to Two Credit Bureaus You Should Freeze Before You Apply For A U.S Bank Credit Card

  1. Ashish says:

    I confirmed the freeze (ARS & IDA) before applying for a Skypass Visa Signature credit card. But I did not get an approval 🙁 Any idea what could’ve gone wrong? This is my first US Bank cc application.

  2. Colin C says:

    Bank of America also uses IDA they pulled for me and my gf for credit cards.

  3. Themanwhocan says:

    First National Bank of Omaha denied my card application and based it on my ARS report.

  4. Michael says:

    The address for ARS on Businessweek is wrong. It is still

    5005 Rockside Road, Suite 600
    Independence, OH 44131

  5. Sam says:

    Where did these 2 reporting agencies come from? I’ve frozen my accounts with the big 3 (TU, EQ, EX) and now I need to worry about ever other data reseller out there? Geez….

  6. Sam says:

    Which address for ARS is correct? The one in the link you put here or the one in the sample letter?

    • Link should be correct.

      • David says:

        I know that this is a little late, but I am getting ready to apply for the Club Carlson card, and due to questions above about the mailing address for ARS, I just called ARS at 800-392-8911 to verify their address. They confirmed that their mailing address is 5005 Rockside Road, Suite 600, Independence, OH 44131.

        The woman I spoke with also said that the letter & proof of identity can be faxed to ARS at 216-615-7642.

        William Charles, keep up the great work! I absolutely love your blog, and I hope that my info above helps anyone trying to freeze their ARS credit report.

  7. Kevin says: also will send you a free annual credit report. The report is on the lite side and ??? whether credit card access it.

  8. brteacher says:

    I can’t believe that I forgot about this post. I was just denied a Club Carlson card based on ARS showing too many recent inquiries. I knew to do this before applying and simply forgot. I called recon and they said that they would manually review it, so maybe all is not lost.

  9. satej99 says:

    I finally obtained a mailed copy of innovis credit report. I see discover and american express credit cards don’t report to innovis as yet! Only visa and mastercard!

  10. Caesar1 says:

    Dave is correct. ID Analytics has changed its name to SageStream, LLC. Requests can be mailed or faxed:

    Secured fax:
    (858) 312-6275


    Postal mail:
    SageStream, LLC Consumer Office
    P. O. Box 503793
    San Diego, CA 92150

  11. Lena says:


    What is considered too many recent inquiries or hard pulls. To date, I applied for Amex Business card in January, and a personal US Airways Visa card in March 13,2015 (both approved instantly); current FICO is 815…what are my chances of getting approved for SKypass personal visa? Should I wait until it is at least 91 days after getting US Airways? I have two 1st class seats on hold from HKG to LAX on Korean Air and need to boost my miles (don’t have enough UR miles to transfer at this time).

    Thanks for any help, suggestions or tips. Plan on applying 1st, then my husband will apply to get total 60K miles.

  12. n says:

    I just put 30k balance on my credit card. I can pay it off any time, before the statement closes or after. Question: Which is better to boost fico score? Have the balance show up on the cc report and show it was paid off one month later or it doesn’t matter? I will make sure I don’t pay any interest. I will be applying for another card in July soon so I don’t want them to freak out about the balance if it shows up in the report. My fico score was 815 a few weeks ago with TU. Thank you for your help.

  13. f says:

    Is it better to have large balance show up on credit report and then paid off to improv fico score? If I am applying for a new credit card would a recently paid off large balance scare off lenders?

    • No, it’s best to have a low credit utilization rate.

      • Mark Rex says:

        Sorry, I know this is an old post but; correct, the higher balance will increase your UTI which is 35% of your FICO score in most models so your score will be lower when it reports with the higher balance. Now if your not going to be applying for new credit until the higher balance reports then you pay it off and it reports at $0 then your FICO score will go back to exactly where it was 2 months prior assuming no other changes (maybe a couple points higher for age and payment history. (Only exception would be the FICO 9 version that recently was released but no one that is using that actually tracks UTI over 24 months I believe. In your credit report there a section titled High Balance and most CC companies only report this as your highest statement balance while a few will report your highest balance due at any time. I have this discussion in a couple credit forums including myFICO and talking with an unwritter at my bank about it. While High Balance has no effect on any current FICO scoring model (except possibly FICO 9 and have it paid down from the High would be a positive) unless no Credit Limit is reported then High Balance is used. I think it shows your ability to handle debt and pay it off to underwritters for manual reviews. High Balances compared to Credit Limits (like near max) after being paid off I think would increase your internal score at the CC company and increase future CL increases. I can’t be certain of this as every underwriter and process is different but I don’t see how it can viewed as a negative once paid down or off. I have 12 revolving accounts and the majority on purpose have a High Balance reported at 75%+ of my CL. My AMEX was like 97% or something real close to that until my recent CLI and now its like 40%.

        Something else you could do is to hasten the update of your current balance after you let a High Balance and Current Balance report is pay it off and ask the creditor to update the account and or dispute the account balance with one of the CRA then they should update it with all 3 within a week or so.

        I just owed $3k on my Chase Freedom and paid off as my free APR ran out. I paid it off after they reported and I paid extra to make sure I had $0 balance come next statement due to interest charges. They updated my accounts to CRA the day after the payment hit. Something maybe only Chase does?

  14. Gene says:

    @william charles
    any idea if innovis affects credit approvals please?
    any disadvantage to freezing innovis?

  15. Don says:

    What can I do if I dont have any phone or utility bill with me address on it ?

  16. Justin says:

    Any idea how long these freezes last?

  17. Audrey says:

    If my last application was six months ago and my FiCO is 866, do I still need to freeze these?

  18. Ted says:

    I just froze mine and requested my credit report at the same time.

    For ARS, it looks like US bank and First national bank of Omaha both requested it, along with Barclay when i applied for my sallie mae mastercard last January. I requested the freeze on oct 16th and it looks like it was frozen that day, and my credit report was delivered to me today though USPS, oct 26th.

  19. Robert says:

    Big Heads Up!

    Just got a letter from ARS after a freeze request stating that they cannot accept SS card or Birth Certificate as a valid form of ID verification. Must provide “A driver’s license or state-issued ID, a Medicare health health insurance card, or a Passport.”


  20. RS_WI says:

    This worked a charm!

    Have at least 4 applications within the last 6 months (on top of about 18 in the past 24 months)… froze ARS/IDA, waited about a week and applied for USB Flexperks this week. Approved and with a nice phat CL.

    Since I have a very lucrative grocery MS option, this card is lonnnng overdue. =/

  21. Pingback: U.S Bank Korean SKYPASS Credit Card 15,000 Miles + $100 Statement Credit Offer - Doctor Of Credit

  22. Kurt says:

    Does the driver’s license address need to match your mail address?

    • D Brown says:

      Sagestream – ok if DL address doesn’t match. Just got my Credit Freeze letter today. Waiting on the other though.

      I faxed my DL and Passport, followed letter format listing current and past addresses.

  23. Trey says:

    I had never heard of IDA, Inc Consumer Assistance Center in San Diego or Advanced Resolution Services in Indepence, OH as credit reporting bureaus when I applied for a US Bank card.

    I had to rebuild my credit after significant ID theft, and was denied because of suspected fraud. Now I want to know what is reported on these companies. Thanks for enlightening me!

  24. Pingback: Which Credit Card Issuers Will Approve an Application with a Frozen Credit Report? - Doctor Of Credit

  25. Jeff S. says:

    DP: IDS Inquiry:
    Chase requested my IDS report when I applied for my Chase Freedom Unlimited card in May 2016. Chase may have been more thorough than normal, because I already held a Chase Freedom card at the time. They pulled Equifax, and Experian as well for that same CC application.

    DP: Sagestream inquiry:
    US Bank: Hard Pulled when I applied for their Military bank Premier CHECKING account. I made sure not to opt for any overdraft coverage, credit cards, or loans during the application. July 2016.
    Barclay: Hard pulled for Barclay Arrival card in June 2016.
    Discover: Hard pulled for Discover It card in Nov 2013. (apparently Sagestream holds credit inquires longer than 2 years)

  26. Pingback: First CC Denial. Why was I not approved? - FlyerTalk Forums

  27. phlquirk says:

    Just wanted to update on the fax requirement for SageStream– I live in PA, and decided to fax anyway, for science. Got a letter in the mail today that my freeze is in effect. Not sure if it was a fluke, or if they’re no longer enforcing this requirement.

    Since I also received my freeze confirmation letter from ARS today as well, I immediately went online and applied for the FlexPerks Visa Signature. I was instantly approved. No prior relationship with US Bank, and many applications in the past 6 months.

  28. Marshall says:

    The ARS fax # doesn’t seem to work any longer. Does anyone have an updated number?

  29. Marshall says:

    Scratch that – fax appears to have gone through to ARS on second attempt.

  30. PG says:

    Repeated tries and unable to get fax to go through to either…

  31. Larry says:

    It sounds like a hassle to freeze these. Is it really necessary to get approval for the Flex Perks cards? How long does it take to freeze once you send the fax?

  32. Larry says:

    I am churner. I have to confess. In 5/24 terms I am probably 22/24.So I am looking for alternatives to Chase where I am locked out to get points I can use to buy Southwest tickets and then use my companion pass to double the value.My stockpile of SW and Ultimate Reward Points are getting low. I have one US Bank Club Carlson card from 2 years ago which has been in the sock draw since the value of the program was destroyed. I am hesitant to fax in personal info to these places and also want to get my application in in time to get the Olympic bonus. Do you think I am asking for a very unpleasant recon call interrogation and a likely refusal to apply without the freeze? How long does it take to be frozen once I fax in the requests?

  33. tassojunior says:

    After my credit line went over a certain amount Chase did an ARA check and cancelled all my credit cards I’d had for years.

    These buggers are more trouble than folks realize; Cancel them a.s.a.p.

    The main clients of both are storefront cellphone vendors; although Nordstrom also uses them for their prepaid card weirdly.

  34. Pingback: US Bank Denial ARS SageStream: Freeze Your Reports Today!

  35. Sherrie says:

    SAGESTREAM should call themselves FRAUDSTREAM. This company is in Cahoots with other companies to attempt to get people to pay Usury rates when their credit is EXCELLENT like mine! I believe the FEDERAL GOV’T SHOULD SHUT THEM DOWN UNDER ANY NAME! No one should do ANY BUSINESS with them. My EXCELLENT credit with all OTHER agencies SHOULD PROVE OUT THE FRAUD!!!

  36. (╯°Д°)╯︵ ┻━┻ says:

    Was denied a US Bank business credit card DUE to the fact that my SageStream was frozen. CSR said no alternative but to reapply.

  37. Tiffany says:

    So even if u have a freeze I can still apply for credit even the SCT?

  38. Mser says:

    Denied (actually not even processed) like others – because of frozen Sage/IDA. US Bank has clearly changed policies. Dont bother freezing – youre just making it harder

  39. Mser says:

    Anyone know how to unfreeze IDA?

  40. Mark Wondergem says:

    Glad I ran across this site after searching for SageStream LLC. After receiving a letter from Ally Bank informing me that they would not be extending me any credit due to the report they received from SS LLC.
    They would however be agreeable to their modified terms that they relayed back to the dealership and not to myself.
    After I sent them and ARC a notice to freeze my credit file. I received a call from ARC informing me one of my ID copies did not fax well and if I could resend. The lady was quite friendly and informed me it would be taken care of.
    SageStream sent me a letter informing me they could not process my request do to the same reason. No problem I just sent the required information back with clear copies of the documents they needed.
    Now here is the kicker. In their first paragraph they state, (SageStream is a source of information for credit issuers. We do not make any adverse decisions and our consumer report does not include credit scores or reasons why the credit issuer made their decision to either grant or not grant credit.)
    I had to reread that as the letter I received from Ally Bank informed me that their decision was based on SS LLC report of my credit score and 4 bullets, all which are printed in the letter from Ally Bank.
    SS LLC and their reported or not reported according to their letter, they reported my credit score almost 200 less than Experian. Then the four bullets which are in error.
    I can understand why they have lawsuits pending in other states.
    Liars are what they are and there is no side stepping that issue. They think they can use the alternate fact defense? I think not.
    Every person needs to freeze their credit files with this crooked company. We cannot allow this deceptive type of reporting to continue as I strongly believe they are in bed with the financial institution’s to have a justifiable reason to increase interest rates on those with very good credit to begin with.

  41. Jim Mulvey says:

    Who are these clowns ” Sage Stream LLC” yeah I might give you my SSN and other info, in another life

  42. Trey says:

    Not only should we be upset with Sage Stream and ARS, we should be up in arms with any bank that does business with them. That’s how they survive. Boycott USBank and contact your state Attorney General and Consumer Affairs.

  43. Mark says:

    Hi William,

    I just wanted to say thank you for running an amazing and informative site, and also to the community members for useful feedback and data points.

  44. Jian says:

    Thanks for all the great info William,

    A couple of questions rgd Flexperks Gold & travel reward cards:

    1. Have you heard of anyone getting two private (non-business) cards from US Bank in one day? (to combine for only one hard pull)
    2. Gold card gives double value for travel reimbursements right? Does that reimbursement benefit extend to the travel reward card if I get approved for both?


  45. MarcoPolo says:

    I googled ARS address and found this:
    It seems to be a “Virtual office”.
    What I am worried about it that is that I send them all these sensitive documents and they get into wrong hands just because they have moved office.
    Difficult to verify since they don’t even have a website.

  46. Jeremy says:

    Just called US Bank reconsideration line. I was rejected for Altitude and rep told me specifically that I need to unfreeze my Sage Stream account and reapply. She provided me a phone number to call Sage Stream to unfreeze. I just froze the account about a week before applying.

  47. Pingback: Anti-Churning Rules – Travel in Miles

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