Save Money Why you should con­sider freez­ing credit re­ports

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

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

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