Security freezes, also known as credit freezes, restrict access to your credit file which makes it harder for fraudsters and identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. Now, you can freeze and unfreeze your credit file for free.
If you would like to freeze your credit, the credit of a child under age 16, or someone for whom you have a valid power of attorney, contact all three of the nationwide credit reporting agencies. If you request a freeze online or by phone, the agency is required to place a freeze on your account within one business day. If you request a lift of the freeze, the agency must lift the freeze within three business days and there is no fee to do so.
Keep in mind there is a difference between credit freezes and credit locks. While they are similar, locks may have monthly fees.
Fraud alerts are different from freezes and tells businesses (like financial institutions, apartment rental agencies, or car dealers) that they need to check with you before opening a new credit account. This is just an extra security measure some people take to ensure no credit accounts are opened without their knowledge. When you request a fraud alert it will last for a full year and if you were a victim of identity theft you can get an extended fraud alert for seven years.
Request a Credit Freeze
To request a credit freeze contact each of the three credit reporting agencies.
For more information about how to protect your confidential information visit SEFCU’s Security Section.