How to freeze your credit for free

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Credit freezes will be free as of tomorrow in the USA. Here's how to freeze your credit at the three largest credit reporting services (plus one smaller one, and another you probably haven't heard of).

The Equifax breach that exposed the Social Security numbers, birthdates, names and addresses of 143 million people last year had people scrambling to freeze their credit. A credit freeze was a paid service (and is, until tomorrow) where each agency charged a fee to freeze credit. A credit freeze stops most companies from viewing your credit file. If you want to apply for credit for a mortgage, a car loan, or a student loan, the freeze can be lifted. Lifting a credit freeze is also free. While credit freezes are another tool to prevent identity theft, a credit freeze won’t stop any open lines of credit like a current credit card from being stolen and used.

Here are the links and contact information to freeze your credit:

Equifax:
Online: https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/
Phone: 1-800-349-9960 (automated), 1-888-298-0045 (live operator)
Mail: Equifax Security Freeze, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, Georgia 30348

Experian:
Online: https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html#content-01
Phone: 1-888-397-3742
Mail: Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, Texas 75013

TransUnion:
Online: https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
Phone: 1-888-909-8872
Mail: TransUnion LLC, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016

Innovis
Online: https://www.innovis.com/personal/securityFreeze
Phone: 1-800-540-2505
Mail: Attention: Consumer Assistance, P.O. Box 1358, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1358
 

You might want to place a credit freeze with the National Consumer Telecommunications & Utilities Exchange. They are a reporting agency that collects and reports data on anyone using utility services like cable and satellite service, utilities like water and electric, and telecommunications services. If you don't apply for new services, you probably haven't heard of them. Putting a freeze credit at the National Consumer Telecommunications and Utilities Exchange (NCTUE) can prevent someone opening a new mobile phone account in your name.

National Consumer Telecom & Utilities Exchange
Online: https://www.exchangeservicecenter.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp
Phone: 1-866-349-5355
Mail: NCTUE Security Freeze, P.O. Box 105561, Atlanta, GA 30348

Links were current at the time of writing, but may change.

This information is useful to people in the USA, and not particularly tech oriented, so here's one of my favorite games. It's played in a browser and is calm and quiet. The music is pretty nice but can be turned off, and you can use a mouse or keyboard to play. Enjoy.

Entanglement by Gopherwood Studios


(h/t Fast Company)


You can find more Tech Treats
here.

 

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Comments

Rhiannon; Thank you. Timely info. Yes, I knew freezes would be free. But not when.
After not visiting my motorhome for a week, I found it had been broken into and MANY items stolen. And damage to the motorhome.That was this last Thursday. Since there was a laptop there I'm busy changing passwords, compiling items stolen lists, trying to schedule a claims adjuster while waiting on a police report. Since it's the weekend, there's no one at the station! Next to freeze all credit reports. Don't forget the 4th agency, Innovis.

I'm so sorry that happened to you. It's a lot of work when something like that happens to get everything switched over and taken care of. I hadn't heard of Innovis, thanks for the tip. I've added them to the article.

It may not be tech info, but it's critical info that needs to get to everyone from any source available. Thanks!!

Thanks for your kind words. :)

Thank you very much for this information. Back when the breach first happened I took advantage of the one-time free freeze. Then I had to unfreeze one of them to buy a car. When I went to refreeze they wanted to charge me, so I didn't bother. Now I can do it for free. And thanks for the info on the telecom thingie; I'll be doing that, too. You're a peach of a fella

You're so welcome. :)
Not many people know about the National Consumer Telecommunications and Utilities Exchange (NCTUE).
I sure didn't until I started looking into the details on the free credit freeze details for this article.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯