This New Law Lets You Freeze Your Credit Files for Free
Starting September 21st, a new law lets you freeze and unfreeze credit with the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – FREE! This law is part of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act signed by the President this past May.
Previously, it could cost up to $30 for consumers in select states to freeze their credit reports from these three major credit bureaus, which could double if they then needed to thaw their reports.
A credit freeze helps you protect your personal information from credit fraud and identity theft since no one can access your credit files or fraudulently open a new account in your name. A credit thaw allows an authorized third party to perform credit checks when you buy (or rent) a home, rent a car, sign up for utility services or a cell phone plan, or apply for a job.
You can set up a credit freeze by phone or by filling out a form on the website of each of the three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You’ll receive a PIN that you must use to lift or “thaw” the freeze if you want to apply for a mortgage loan or a new credit card.
Plus, fraud alerts will now last for one year, instead of the former 90 days. A fraud alert tells any business that runs your credit that they should check with you before opening a new account.