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You Now Have No More Excuses Not to Freeze Your Credit

New IdentityTheft Scam

Image: Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

With the one-year anniversary of the Equifax breach just behind us, here’s a reminder that you will be able to freeze your credit reports and sign up for year-long fraud alerts for free starting Sept. 21 thanks to a federal law passed earlier this year.

That’s good news for consumers, who used to have to pay $2 to $10 per bureau to freeze their credit in the past, depending on the state. You will still need to freeze your credit at all three of the main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

The benefit of freezing your credit is that identity thieves won’t be able to open accounts in your name. Typically you’ll get a PIN each time you freeze your accounts in order to unfreeze them (don’t lose that PIN), making it harder for nefarious types to scam you. As noted above, fraud alerts, which currently last for 90 days, will be extended to one year, and require businesses that run your credit to check with you before opening a new account—a less secure measure, but better than nothing. Credit agencies will also be required to offer free credit monitoring to all active duty military.

If your credit isn’t already frozen, put it on your to-do list for the 21st (and remember to freeze your kids’ credit files, too—you’ll be able to freeze accounts for those under 16 for free).

One final reminder: A freeze won’t stop thieves from using any open lines of credit you have, like your current credit card, so you’ll need to stay on top of your statements and fraud alerts.

Source: on 2018-09-12 09:52:30

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