Freezing your credit is an important element of identity protection: if your credit is frozen, new accounts can’t be opened in your name. This is an important tool at your disposal; should a bad actor try to open a line of credit in your name, it won’t be approved. If your information was compromised during a credit breech, freezing your credit right away can save you a considerable amount of time and money down the line.
Of course, if you freeze your credit, you won’t be able to access your credit for legitimate purposes either – this means that if the freeze is still active when you try to open a new credit card, the request will be denied. For this reason, it’s useful to know how to both freeze and un-freeze your credit.
Credit reporting is handled by three companies – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. These are the companies you contact to add/remove a freeze. You can request a freeze via phone, online, or standard mail.
Adding or removing a freeze is always free.
Equifax: Call (888) 298-0045, or go to https://www.equifax.com/personal/help/place-lift-remove-security-freeze/
TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872 or go to https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
Experian: Call 888-397-3742 or go to https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/how-to-add-a-security-freeze-to-your-credit-file/