Freezing Your Credit Report - Identity Theft Prevention

Identity TheftWhen you get the devastaing news that your credit identity has been stolen, you can feel the blood drain from your head.  It’s frightening!  You will want to act as fast as possible for the sake of your credit and your livelihood.  You will need to move very quickly and methodically to counter the efforts of the credit thief.  It’s possible to react and make things happen so fast that you forget to do things properly – we’re human. So, as a first line of defense, make sure your credit report freeze happens at each credit bureau. Here are a few instructions on how credit report freezing happens and what it can do for you.

Simply put, getting credit report requires some checking on the creditor’s part.  It’s this checking process where you can set up your defense against would be credit thieves.  A credit thief hoping to secure some funds from the abuse of your credit will try to apply for credit in your name.  A credit freeze would cause the thief to be denied because you have set up a credit alert freeze to be in place until the password has been given.  You guessed it, the identity thief may have the basics – your name address and social security number, but you are hoping a person about to commit identity theft does not have your password - and that can buy you some time!

Activating a credit report freeze

To activate a credit report freeze, you should call the three main credit bureaus, and that would be Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Contrarily to credit monitoring, there's usually no way that you can do all three at once, and only applying to one would really reduce the effectiveness of the whole credit freeze process. You will have to provide various information (it’s supposed to be a secured credit system of course) in order for your freeze order to be accepted. Be ready to provide your social security number, your address and some ID, along with the payment required.

Credit freeze could be free

Depending on where you live, you could have the right to freeze your credit report for free if you've already been a victim of identity theft. Of course, it's always possible to freeze your credit by pay for the service but by providing proof that you're already a victim (like a police report for instance), you could skip the fees and get the protection you deserve. When you operate through the mail, make sure to not send your original documents and use certified mail as well – you don't want your request to get lost and to continue your credit repair constantly wondering if things are all right.

Once you receive the credit freeze key or password, you can feel comfortable that you have one more layer of protection on your credit access telling you that your credit report is more secure from now on. If you need to unlock the credit report for whatever reason or think that you are done with the freeze, your key will be required again to end the credit freeze process.

And finally, when you shop your security freeze, make sure to go online to facilitate all the comparisons you want to make. Also, take the time to know if your state or region grants you any privileges on this matter. Surely, while in credit repair, you will be in a hurry if you want to freeze your report because of a recent identity theft incident, but doing things right, making sure that you pay the least amount possible and that you reach all three bureaus is all essential in making your freeze effective for your credit repair.

Sandra Mitchell

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