Starting next week, credit bureaus will be prohibited from charging you – or anyone else who lives in Washington – to freeze or unfreeze your credit file.
Until now, most state residents have been charged $10 to freeze their file at each of the big three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – and another $10 to thaw the account to apply for credit. There’s another $10 charge to refreeze the file.
A new state law that takes effect on June 6 requires both freezes and thaws to be free.
A security freeze does not impact your credit score and it does not affect any relationship you already have with a creditor. It will help prevent crooks from getting a credit card or taking out a loan in your name.
“When you freeze your credit file, no one – including you – can gain access that file, unless it’s been thawed by you using a special PIN or passcode,” said cybersecurity expert Adam Levin, author of the book “Swiped.”
Levin points out that a freeze is much different than credit monitoring.
“Credit monitoring will only warn you after a problem has occurred, as opposed to a credit freeze which is designed to prevent a problem from occurring in the first place,” Levin said.
A freeze isn’t a silver bullet. It won’t stop all forms of identity theft, but it is one of the few things you can do to fight back. And now you can do it for free.
More Info: State passes law to get rid of credit freeze fees
Source: on 2018-06-01 09:30:00
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