Why Setup Credit Security Freezes
- With a credit security freeze in place, a creditor that receives an application for credit/debt (e.g., a loan or credit card) cannot get access to your credit reports. This will usually prevent the creditor from issuing the credit/debt until you lift the freeze.
- This is one of the best ways to protect yourself from someone stealing your identity and then taking credit/debt out in your name.
- It is FREE to place and lift a freeze for North & South Carolina residents. The law varies from state to state. Visit the National Conference of State Legislatures to learn more.
- Placing a credit security freeze on your credit bureau reports should have no effect on your existing lines of credit. You can continue to use them as you regularly would even when your credit reports are frozen.
How to Setup a New Credit Security Freeze
- You will need to setup a separate credit security freeze for each of the following credit bureaus for each person in your household (see below for instructions).
- When you place a freeze, you will receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN).
- When you want to apply for new credit/debt, the PIN will be required to temporarily lift the freeze either for a specified creditor or a specified time. The PIN is also needed to permanently remove the freeze. Make sure to keep it in a safe place.
|Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
|Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
|Innovis Consumer Assistance
PO Box 26
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0026
There are other consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) that you might consider contacting for more information about the risks and need for a security freeze. These are specialized CRAs, and may not be applicable to everyone.
When using the By Mail option above, you should consider sending the letter certified mail with a return-receipt requested. Also, while you should consult each of the credit bureaus directly, they usually require the following items with a mailed request: your complete name including any suffix (e.g. JR., Sr., etc), complete address, Social Security Number, date of birth, and a copy of an item to validate your ID (e.g., valid driver’s license, pay stub, W2 form, or 1099 form).
How to Temporarily Lift a Credit Security Freeze
- You can temporarily lift a credit security freeze with a specific bureau using the same methods as above. Be sure to have your PIN available.
- Credit bureaus must temporarily lift a freeze within 15 minutes of receiving your request.
- Want to temporarily lift a freeze by mail? Provide the same information requested when you placed the freeze, plus: your PIN and either the specific creditor for whom you are lifting the report or the time period for which you would like it lifted.
How to Permanently Lift a Credit Security Freeze
- You can permanently lift a credit security freeze with a specific bureau using the same methods as above. Be sure to have your PIN available.
- Credit bureaus must permanently lift a freeze within 3 days of receiving your request.
- Want to permanently lift a freeze by mail? Provide the same information requested when you placed the freeze, plus: your PIN and copies of two types of identification.