Last year, Equifax was breached and exposed the personal information of more than 146 million Americans. On Tuesday, Congress added a provision to a broad bill that allows consumers to freeze their credit for no charge.
When you place a freeze on your credit with the credit bureaus, it keeps anyone from opening a credit card or loan in your name. Once the freeze is placed on your credit you will need to go through steps to lift the freeze.
Depending on the state you live in, it costs between $2-$10 to place a freeze on your credit. Several states already make this a free service.
The legislation will make placing, lifting, and permanently removing freezes free no matter where you live. The credit bureaus will have to fulfill the request within 1 business day if you submit the request online or on the phone. If you send the request by mail, it will take 3 business days.
Set Your Own Freeze
If you have concerns that your credit or identity may be in jeopardy then you can set your own freeze on your credit.
Here’s an article from CNN money explaining how to set your own freeze:
To set up your own credit freezes, go to the freeze page at each credit agency’s website individually: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You will be given a PIN that you’ll need to lift or remove the freeze in the future.
Often there is no charge for victims of identity fraud to add or lift a security freeze. After the data breach, Equifax made freezes free for everyone until June 2018.
Let’s us know your thoughts and concerns about your personal data and the ability to have control over it. Should the credit bureaus have so much power and so little oversight? Leave your comments below