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“How do I freeze my credit to ensure that my personal information will not be used to open accounts in my name?”

Today’s question comes from someone concerned about Facebook’s data breach and its impact on their credit report.

The question is:

“How do I freeze my credit to ensure that my personal information will not be used to open accounts in my name?”

 

Transcript:

If you want to freeze your credit, you’re in luck. It used to cost around 10 dollars for each credit agency to freeze your credit, but as of just a week or two ago, it is now free to have your credit frozen.

First, a quick review what does freezing your credit mean?

When you ask a credit agency, such as Equifax, Experian or TransUnion to freeze your credit, they do not allow anyone to pull your credit report. If you, or someone pretending to be you, attempts to take out a loan or open a bank account using your personal information, it will be denied.

 

So maybe you are worried from any of the recent data hacks that your personal information is stolen, and you want to freeze your credit. How do you do that?

You need to contact the 3 credit agencies separately and request a freeze. Each of the 3 credit agencies have websites set up where you can request a freeze.

We will include the links for each of the 3 credit agency websites on our archives blog, which you can find by visiting hyllandcapital.com/ask,

Addition: Here they are

  • Equifax: Call 800-349-9960 or request online.

  • Experian: Call 888‑397‑3742 or request online.

  • TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872 or request online.

but you should be able to find the correct forms simply using google.

We recently ran into a problem where a new client had a credit freeze in place when we tried to open a Roth IRA for them. The opening of the account was denied, and the client had to contact the credit agencies for a temporary PIN number, that we then gave to TD Ameritrade in order to grant them temporary access to their credit report.

The process of freezing your credit is very easy, and takes less than 30 minutes to do. If your personal information is at risk, it can save you a big headache later if someone were to open an account in your name.  

Matt Hylland