How to protect yourself from identity theft by freezing your credit

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About: A credit freeze, which is more formally known as a security freeze allows you to “freeze” your credit so that no one else can view your credit or open accounts with your credit. This protects you from identity theft because it becomes more difficult to open a line of credit in your name. Performing a credit freeze is a little time consuming but can be done easily by contacting the 3 main credit bureaus (Equifax , Experian, TransUnion). You must contact all 3 bureaus to freeze and unfreeze your credit. Depending on your state there may be some fee’s associated with freezing and unfreezing of your credit.

My wife and I recently set up a credit freeze for my 1 year old son. He doesn’t need any credit until he grows up so it’s a no brainer for freezing his credit for an extra step of security in preventing his identity to be stolen especially with the online world that he will live in. It will prevent anyone including family members from using his information to steal his identity and take out loans in his name.

Objective: To help understand the need to freeze your credit and how it protects you from identity theft and loans being open in your name

Instructions: Its fairly simple to freeze your credit and we’ll have to do it at each of the 3 main credit bureaus. There may be some fee’s associated with freezing your credit but that depends on your state. If you do have to pay a fee in your state you will need to pay the fee at all 3 credit bureaus. The fees are usually under $10 and every year more states are making it cheaper or free to control your credit. However some states you may need to pay if you freeze or unfreeze your credit by phone or mail but are free online.

Alright lets start at Equifax. Head on over to the Equifax Credit Freeze website and fill in the required information. Equifax requires 3 steps to complete your security freeze.

Now lets head on over to Experian. Click the link for the Experian page and fill in the required information.

Finally lets finish up at TransUnion. Click the link for the TransUnion freeze page and fill out the required information.

That’s it. Make sure you save your pin numbers in a safe place in case you need to unfreeze your credit when getting a new loan or a new job.

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