Credit Freeze and Fraud Alerts
Learn more about Credit Freezes, Fraud Alerts and when to use them.
What Is A Credit Freeze?
A credit freeze is a FREE mechanism that allows you to restrict access to your credit report. This generally prevents thieves from opening new accounts in your name because most creditors require a credit report before extending you credit. A credit freeze does not prevent everyone from having access to your credit report. Existing creditors and certain government agencies may be able to access your credit report, even with a credit freeze in place. A credit freeze remains in place until you ask the credit bureau to lift or remove it. This will be necessary if you are (i) applying for a job that will pull a credit report, (ii) applying for new line of credit or a loan, (iii) engaging in any other activity that would trigger a request for your credit report (e.g., renting an apartment).
What Are The Limitations of A Credit Freeze?
A credit freeze only restricts access to your credit report from future creditors. A credit freeze does NOT:
➔ Have an effect on existing credit cards. You should use them as you have in the past.
➔ Which means it does NOT prevent fraudulent activity--monitor all financial accounts for unauthorized transactions.
➔ Prevent you from receiving prescreened credit offers.
➔ Prevent you from getting a FREE annual credit report.
How To Initiate A Credit Freeze
Contact each of the following credit bureaus, where most creditors pull credit reports. Each bureau allows for a credit freeze to be requested online, by phone, or by mail. After receiving your request, each credit bureau will provide you with a PIN which must be kept in a safe place (in a password safe or physical safe) because you will need it to lift the freeze. Click the links below to initiate a freeze online or watch these videos on how to initiate a freeze through the BlackCloak Desktop App or the Mobile App.
What Is A Fraud Alert?
When you ask for a fraud alert, there is a notation made on your account that lets anyone who pulls your credit know that there may be possible attempts at fraud. This allows you to still work with banks, lenders, and other organizations that might need to pull your credit report, but they will be extra careful to ensure that they are dealing only with you, and not an imposter seeking to commit ID theft. A fraud alert typically lasts 90 days, but you can request an extension.
How To Initiate A Fraud Alert
Simply contact one of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion) to request a fraud alert. The credit bureau you contact will then contact the other two credit bureaus. Placing a fraud alert is free. Be sure the credit bureaus have your current contact information so they can get in touch with you. Click the links below to initiate a fraud alert online or watch these videos on how to initiate a fraud alert through the BlackCloak Desktop App or the Mobile App.
|Equifax: Equifax Credit Freeze, Equifax Fraud Alert , 800-685-1111
|Experian: Experian Credit Freeze, Experian Fraud Alert , 888-397-3742
|TransUnion: TransUnion Credit Freeze, TransUnion Fraud Alert, 888-909-8872