You can now freeze your credit (which is the number one step you can take to protect your identity) for free.
A credit freeze is the single most important step you can take to protect yourself from identity theft. It literally locks your credit bureau files so NO ONE, including you, will be approved for new credit. A thief could have your information and they will apply rapidly for credit, all of which will be denied, which will make them move on.
After the massive Equifax data breach last year (https://ryanhlaw.com/equifax-data-breach/) a new federal law allows all consumers to freeze their credit for free.
Which makes sense, if you think about it. Equifax essentially said, “we’re sorry your data got stolen because we were negligent, you can protect yourself by putting a credit freeze on your report and paying us $5-$10.” Thankfully Congress didn’t like that, and they passed a law that made it free.
Let’s keep it simple – here are the websites:
- Equifax: https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/
- Experian: https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
- TransUnion: https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
You’ll need your Social Security number, two years of address history, and some other basic personal information. You will be asked some questions about information in your credit file.
Take ten minutes and freeze your credit right now. Freeze your spouse’s and children’s credit as well.
Good job, Congress, for doing the right thing and making this important service free.