How to freeze your credit

Updated: Apr. 4, 2022 at 7:01 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -There were 4.8 million identity theft and credit card fraud reports to the Federal Trade Commission in 2020. That’s $4.5 Billion in losses. If you’re looking to freeze your credit data, but don’t know how. We’ve got you covered.

Credit freezes are free and experts tell me it’s the best way to make sure your information is protected from identity thieves.

A credit freeze does not affect the ability to use your credit cards that you already have, it doesn’t change your credit score.

It just makes your credit report - off-limits to anyone who doesn’t already have access. No one, including a lender, will be able to check it until you un-freeze it. This means it’s highly unlikely that a scammer will be able to open up a new credit card in your name.

You can do this over the phone, by mail, or online with each of the three credit bureaus.

Just know these bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax don’t talk to each other, so you’ll have to do this with all three of them.

Each has a step-by-step process listed on its website.

Also, keep track of your PIN and password, it will make your life easier if you have those handy when you need them.

You can temporarily lift a credit freeze at any time in order to apply for a new loan or credit card.

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