Managing Director Lance Gunkel provides insight on how a credit freeze can help prevent identity theft.
What is a Credit Freeze?
When you apply for a loan or credit, most lenders review your credit report from one or all of the three major credit reporting agencies. A credit freeze takes your report out of circulation, thus making it inaccessible. Without viewing a credit report or your credit score, lenders are not likely to extend credit, thereby reducing the chance that someone can establish a new credit line in your name.
How do you begin a credit freeze?
First, contact the three reporting bureaus – Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. The easiest way to do this is by going online to their websites and starting a free account. You will have to provide some personal identification to establish who you are.
How do you end a credit freeze?
If you are applying for new credit, you will have to end your credit freeze or put a temporary thaw on it. The process is fairly simple; log into each credit agency account and they will have step-by-step instructions on how to thaw the account.
Finally, an additional benefit of a credit freeze is that it prevents the credit agencies from selling your data, so you should see fewer credit card solicitations in the mail!
As always, while the added security layer of a credit freeze is great, you should continue to monitor your existing credit accounts for any signs of unauthorized use.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to Syverson Strege at 515-225-6000 for a complimentary, no-obligation, private consultation.
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