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Is a Credit Report Freeze Right for You?

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Is a Credit Report Freeze Right for You?

 

 

Consumer advocates have long recommended that consumers — whether they are victims of identity theft or not — be able to "freeze" their credit reports. A freeze prevents anyone from accessing your credit report without your permission. A credit report freeze can prevent a type of identity theft where the thief opens credit card accounts or obtains loans in the victim's name.

Up until now, only residents of one of the 39 states with freeze laws could place a freeze on their credit reports. TransUnion has announced that effective October 15, 2007 consumers in all 50 states will be able to freeze their credit reports. Unless a consumer is a victim of Identity Theft—in which case a freeze is free—it will cost $10 each time a consumer wants to freeze or unfreeze their credit report.

Equifax has announced that they will expand their freeze capability to all consumers by the end of October, details weren't available at the time of this writing.

Experian has announced that beginning November 1, 2007 they will allow any consumer in all 50 states, District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories to place a freeze on their credit report. Unless a consumer is a victim of Identity Theft—in which case a freeze is free—and unless state law mandates otherwise, it will cost $10 each time a consumer wants to freeze or unfreeze their credit report.