The huge credit breach at Equifax last year stuck a lot of people with an expensive choice to make. Pay to freeze credit report or hope for the best.
The data breach left tons of consumers in jeopardy of having their credit identities stolen. Many of us (myself included) had to make the decision to pay $10 to Equifax, Experian or TransUnion to freeze access to their credit reports.
And until now if we want to apply for a mortgage, credit card, buy a car, rent an apartment or anything requiring a credit report we paid $10 per company to unfreeze the information.
Finally, the federal law signed in May went into effect on September 21, 2018. The new law requires credit bureaus to allow anyone in the United States to restrict access to their credit reports fee-free. And no fees to unfreeze when needed.
As consumers, it’s our job to access Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion to freeze or unfreeze our credit. Credit card companies and loan officers don’t have the ability to access frozen information and you should never give user id’s or passwords to anyone. However, if you’re buying a home line up your ducks before applying for a mortgage. Take a few minutes to unfreeze access so you don’t slow down the loan process.
Remember, most lenders recheck credit reports right before closing – so stay in touch with the loan officer to coordinate timing to refreeze your credit reports.