A credit freeze stops a thief from opening a new credit card or loan in your name. Request a freeze from each of the three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. There might be a small charge to place a credit freeze on your account.
A credit freeze also stops businesses from checking your credit, so you may need to temporarily lift your credit freeze before:
- Applying for any type of loan, mortgage, or credit card
- Applying for insurance
- Switching or starting a new utility service or phone line
- Applying for a job
- Renting an apartment
Credit freeze costs
You may be asked to pay a small fee to place a freeze on your credit, but credit reporting agencies cannot charge you to place, temporarily lift, or remove a security freeze if you are a victim of identity theft and you provide a valid police report.
How to place a credit freeze
To place a credit freeze with the major credit reporting agencies, call each agency or visit their websites. Each credit agency has specific requirements for placing a credit freeze, so review the agencies’ information first.
- Equifax: 800-349-9960 or freeze your credit online
- Experian: 888‑397‑3742 or freeze your credit online
- TransUnion: 888-909-8872 or freeze your credit online
The credit agencies have three business days after receiving your request to place a freeze on your credit report. The credit agencies must send written confirmation to you within five business days and provide you with a personal identification number (PIN) or password that you will use to temporarily lift or remove a credit freeze.