Save Money Why you should consider freezing credit reports
Freeze your credit reports before you get burned. That’s the message from security experts, consumer advocates and some state attorneys general. They say more people should consider a credit freeze as a way to block identity thieves from opening new credit cards and other accounts in your name. They recommend a freeze even if your identity hasn’t been stolen.
“It’s much better to shut the door before it even takes place,” saysMike Litt, a consumer program advocate at the nonprofit U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
To freeze your credit report, you’ll need to attend to each of the three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You’ll need to freeze your credit report at all three because some creditors only use one. They’ll ask you for your Social Security number, name, address and other details. In some states, you have to pay a fee of $3 to $10. You’ll need to unfreeze your report if you’re applying for amortgage or auto loan or credit card. That’s because lenders check your report to see if they should lend to you. You can ask the lenderwhat credit reporting agency they use and unfreeze that one, Litt says. The Associated Press