Protect your credit: Freeze it!
It’s a fact of modern life: We are all susceptible to having our sensitive information stolen and potentially used fraudulently. It is very important to safeguard your data as much as possible by using credit monitoring and remediation services like Zander, LifeLock and others.
However, there are some proactive steps you can take to protect yourself. We recommend freezing your credit at each of the credit bureaus. Each credit bureau requires a different freeze process, which is simple, but does take time.
Why freeze your credit? First of all, freezing your credit blocks its access without your personal, direct authorization. No one can open a credit card in your name, for example, without your password- or PIN-protected permission. Secondly, freezing your credit is free and doesn’t affect your credit score.
But be prepared for some credit-freeze inconveniences. If you want to apply for new credit yourself, you will have to “thaw,” or unfreeze, your credit at whatever agency the bank or credit card company uses. You might also need to unfreeze your credit if you are activating Social Security or Medicare. The thawing process is also very simple to complete on each of the bureau websites.
How to do a Credit Freeze at each of the Credit Bureaus
- Go to Equifax.
- Click on “Login”, then select “Freeze & Fraud Alerts”.
- You will be redirected to the “Sign into myEquifax” page. Then select “Register Now” towards the bottom of the page.
- Input your personal information and Submit Request.
- Once your account is created, login and on the “Overview” page, select “Place or Manage a Freeze”. Follow the steps to place a freeze on your credit.
- Save the PIN they provide, which you will need to “Unfreeze” your credit if needed.
- Logout once complete.
- Go to Experian.
- Select “Add a security freeze” and then select “Freeze my own credit file”.
- Input your personal information, create and save your PIN, then “Submit”.
- Save the PIN you created, which you will need to “Unfreeze” your credit if needed.
- Logout once complete.
- Go to Transunion.
- Slide to the bottom of the page and click “Login”.
- On the page that opens, select “Create an account” under the Login button.
- Input your personal information and submit.
- Once you have created your account, login and select “Freeze Account”.
- Save the PIN they provide, which you will need to “Unfreeze” your credit if needed.Logout once complete.
- Go to Innovis.
- Click on “Security Freeze” under Personal Solutions.
- Under Innovis Security Freeze Options, click on the “Security Freeze Request Online” link.
- Complete the online form after selecting Request a Security Freeze at the top and Submit Request.
- You will receive your confirmation in the mail within two weeks. This letter will include your personal PIN, which you will need to “Unfreeze” your credit if needed. Save this in a safe place.
Keep in mind that for any of these websites, the steps may change from how they are listed in this blog. For more information or if you have any questions, please reach out to the Sound Stewardship team.< Back to Updates