Freezing Your Credit with a Credit Bureau?   

A credit freeze, also called a credit lock, is a tool called to restrict access to your credit report. This type of security freeze prevents potential lenders from accessing your credit report, making impossible for thieves to open an account or get credit, even if they have your personal information.

You should contact a credit bureau if you find any administrative inaccuracies on your credit report, including misspelled names, incorrect address information, or erroneous employment information. Also, if there are credit cards, collections, missed payments, or anything else on your report that you don’t recognize, don’t hesitate to contact the credit bureaus immediately.

Importantly, to freeze credit, you should contact each of the 3 credit bureaus separately. The 3 major credit bureaus ─ Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian ─ are required by law to provide consumers with a toll-free number that’s staffed during regular business hours.

How to Freeze Your Credit

After the recent Equifax data breach, as a result of which the data of 143 million Americans was leaked, some data security experts are recommending to freeze credit. It’s not recommended to freeze your accounts if your credit reports are accessed often for work or because you create new accounts with various financial institutions regularly.

Here steps to take before freezing your credit:

  • Don’t panic

  • Know what a credit freeze is

  • Understand the credit freeze process

  • Know the cost of a freeze

  • Be aware that a freeze won’t protect everything

  • Expect credit delays with a freeze

  • Check your financial statements regularly

According to Don Petersen, an attorney, you should call a bureau for only basic administrative questions like updating an address or asking if you’re affected by a recent data breach. Petersen recommends writing to credit bureaus or submitting disputes online for most other issues.

If you need to open a secure and reliable bad credit merchant account, it’s critical to turn to a reputable payment processor that specializes in the high risk field. With a respectable high risk merchant account provider, you can enjoy the best rates and terms for payment processing.

Freezing Credit with Equifax

Equifax provides detailed instructions about how to place, temporarily lift, or entirely remove a freeze on its site.

You can also write or call to request a freeze. To request a security freeze, call 1-800-685-1111 (NY residents call 1-800-349-9960) or submit your request in writing to the following address:

Equifax Security Freeze
PO Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348

Freezing Credit with TransUnion

You can freeze your credit with TransUnion using its website. TransUnion offers 2 different services on this front: locking your credit and freezing your credit.

TransUnion Phone Number: 800-916-8800

Freezing Credit with Experian

Experian provides an online form to freeze credit via its website. To freeze your credit, you can also call 1-888-397-3742 or send certified or overnight mail to this address:

Experian Security Freeze
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

Remember that when you correct inaccuracies with one of the bureaus, it won’t automatically be corrected by the others as well. You should review the individual reports of all 3 credit agencies. When you dispute something on your report, the burden of proof is on you.

A credit freeze is a feasible option for those involved in a data breach. All you need is to stay calm and contact credit bureaus to freeze your credit by taking into account both the pros and cons of a credit freeze.

Author Bio: Electronic payments expert, Blair Thomas, co-founded eMerchantBroker in 2010. His passions include writing/producing music, and travel. eMerchantBroker is America’s No.1 bad credit merchant account company, serving both traditional and high-risk merchants.