How To Freeze Your Credit
RL104 – How To Freeze Your Credit
Today on the Retirement Lifestyle Show, Roshan Loungani, Erik Olson, and Adrian Nicholson dissect credit freezes and explain why they are among the most effective anti-fraud strategies available today. They go through the benefits of executing a credit freeze, the difference between a credit freeze and a fraud alert, and the downside to freezing your credit.
[06:40] Backstory to Today's Topic of Discussion
[11:24] What is a Credit Freeze?
[14:40] How Credit Bureaus Handle Credit Freeze Requests
[15:48] The Difference Between a Credit Freeze and a Fraud Alert
[20:11] The Downsides to Freezing Your Credit
[22:32] Taxes, Identity Thefts, and a Credit Freeze
[29:10] Parting Thoughts
For more links and the full show notes keep scrolling down!
Roshan Loungani can be reached at email@example.com or at 202-536-4468.
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Full Show Notes:
What Is a Credit Freeze?
A credit freeze is one of the most effective anti-fraud strategies that people suspecting potential identity theft can use to protect their information. Once you go into one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and activate a credit freeze, the bureaus refrain from sharing your credit report with any third parties. This helps prevent identity thieves from using your credit information to make purchases or open new accounts. Lenders are unlikely to approve loans unless they know your credit history, and without access to your credit archive, a credit freeze can help protect against, for example, an identity thief taking out a mortgage or a car loan in your name. Furthermore, a credit freeze will not affect your credit score, and only you can go back and lift the freeze.
The Difference Between a Fraud Alert and a Credit Freeze
Although both the credit freeze and a fraud alert can help prevent fraud and identity theft, they are not the same thing and don't operate the same way. A fraud alert is a simple step that requires creditors to verify identity before opening new credit. This helps ensure that you and only you can initiate all new credit openings. On the other hand, a credit freeze completely blocks access to your credit reports, which makes it unlikely that new credit accounts can be opened in your name without your consent. The similarity between these two anti-fraud activities is that both of them are free. And although it's simpler to put a credit fraud alert in place, a credit freeze offers better protection. Further, fraud alerts expire automatically, while credit freezes last until you lift them.
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