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Old 01-25-2014, 08:39 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by SecretlyFI View Post
I set this up a while ago and I agree it provides a good level of security. However, be prepared for the hassle factor to unfreeze it when you least expect it. I got stopped in my tracks trying to open CD's at banks where I didn't already have an account-including Penfed! It's due to the Patriot Act. I also could not view an online social security statement or access my info there without unfreezing it. When you unfreeze you have to call all 3 and pay some fees as well. So while I thought I was in the clear never intending to borrow money again, it was not that simple.
Interesting. Froze ours years ago on the (so far correct) theory that we wouldn't need credit again. Interesting that it can interfere with opening up an interest bearing account as well. Thx for the tip.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:23 AM   #22
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Freezing your credit with the 3 agencies can cause some extra work. We had to unfreeze to set up our Social Security online accounts. However, when opening a bank account at a new bank and when signing a rental agreement when explained why we had frozen accounts and we were not required to unfreeze.

The hassles of a freeze are nothing as compared to having your identity stolen. It gives us great peace of mind. Our credit card numbers have been stolen in the past and we had to get new credit cards (a freeze does not prevent your credit card number from being stolen) but we did not have to worry about a criminal stealing our identity and opening new credit in our names.

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Old 01-25-2014, 10:43 AM   #23
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I don't believe a credit check is done when you are handing over money to buy a CD. A credit check is done when one is borrowing money, including applying for a CC.
PenFed ran me through one of the credit reporting agencies when I first became a member. Because, I had frozen my records, they put a lot of limits onto my account. Later I thawed the freeze and they got their report. Now, I am still under suspicion as a new person, but not a complete crook.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:44 AM   #24
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When you unfreeze you have to call all 3 and pay some fees as well. So while I thought I was in the clear never intending to borrow money again, it was not that simple.
When I tried to use healthcare.gov, I needed to unfreeze. BUT I only needed to unfreeze Experian, not all three.

Since I had to go through the minor hassle of unfreezing that, I took the opportunity to get my Social Security account setup (they use the same ID verification that healthcare.gov does) and also got a travel credit card with a chip in it that I had been meaning to get.

It's all frozen again now.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:45 AM   #25
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The hassles of a freeze are nothing as compared to having your identity stolen.
+1

A BIG +1. I have heard it can take years to clear up the damage from identity theft and you still don't know when some old data, created by the criminals, will come back and haunt you.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:55 AM   #26
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Good info on registering online for SS statements (and for opening a Penfed account). I hadn't realized that a credit check is done at that point, but it does make sense. Certainly excellent advice to register online for SS before doing a credit freeze.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:53 AM   #27
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Everyone, no matter what age, should register online with Social Security and check their online statement to be sure all is correct. THEN freeze your credit!

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Old 01-25-2014, 01:56 PM   #28
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> Everyone, no matter what age, should register online with Social Security

I liked getting the SS statement in the mail. They no longer send it out. But you can get the same statement as a PDF on the web site.

It's worth checking to see if everything is correct (as golftrek said), but also to see how far our earnings have (hopefully) improved over the years.
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:32 PM   #29
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If nothing else, if you're getting up there (I'm 62) it's interesting to see those SS statements and try to remember why on earth you show $900 earning back in 1968...Hmmm, what was I doing then??!! Mainly summer earnings at the local sheet metal shop, I think! Then for me there was that period of 15 years with no entries (worked for a local gov that didn't want to participate in SS). Anyway, it can be interesting to see the ups and downs and try to connect it with what you were doing...especially if you floated around and had significant changes.

I agree that you should check to verify but how on earth would you contest any of their records? I generally have dumped all paper records more than 3 years old when I've changed jobs. i'm sure that I can't even remember the names of places I worked summers, and the first job from college, they were bought and absorbed. I'd be interested if anyone a) found errors and b) contested the record; and what the result was.
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:44 PM   #30
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Question for anyone that has unfrozen an agency.

Lets say you want to switch from at&t to Verizon. Verizon would require you to unfreeze you account. Do you have to unfreeze all three or just the one Verizon uses?
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:19 PM   #31
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DH received a new debit card from our bank today, with a letter explaining it was because of Target breach. (I did not receive a new card.) We use cash most of the time, and shop at Target very rarely. We have a credit freeze. Thinking we must have used debit card at Target; it may have happened.

Hmmmm, but not arguing. Seems like a good thing for us....
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:57 PM   #32
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We we moved we switched from Direct TV to Time Warner Cable. Time Warner could not check our credit because of the freeze. They gave us a choice, we could either unfreeze our accounts or put down a small deposit we would get back in a year. We put down the deposit (I think it was $100). The gas company also wanted a deposit, I think $30, which we get back in a year. Our Landlord asked about our freeze but he did not require us to unfreeze, he just checked our references. Landlord said he also had his credit frozen so he understood.

It is a hassle in some instances to have frozen credit accounts, but in our situation, I think it is well worth it. We are in the Target mess plus a few years ago DH had his personal info stolen from a former employer. We have also had our credit card numbers stolen twice, once at a restaurant and the other who knows how.

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Old 01-26-2014, 12:45 AM   #33
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Even though you are not explicitly borrowing money, a credit check is also sometimes done when opening a checking account so that they can offer you "courtesy" overdraft protection..

(At $30 per instance combined with not being able to opt-out, I find the term "courtesy" one of the biggest misnomers ever! LOL)

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I'm pretty sure the inquiries flagged by our monitoring service recently must be due to this from opening our PenFed account. I had better look at the details.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:45 AM   #34
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I've had mine frozen ever since the first year we, in NC, could do it for free. I've unfrozen a few times, but sometimes it doesn't work. For instance, I never succeeded in getting signed-up with bankofinternet.com, and although I unfroze, it still seemed to snag their system.

But I wouldn't have it any other way. Being frozen is the way to go. As Clark Howard says, the credit agencies hate it because they no longer can sell your information. So, since I'm a skeptical guy, I'd say if the agencies just happen to cause a glitch or two for people who have frozen credit, they're probably not going to put a whole lot of focus on fixing those glitches.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:01 PM   #35
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Question for anyone that has unfrozen an agency.

Lets say you want to switch from at&t to Verizon. Verizon would require you to unfreeze you account. Do you have to unfreeze all three or just the one Verizon uses?
You can ask the new company (in your example Verizon) which agency they will be checking. Hopefully, they will tell you and that is the only one you will need to thaw.

Since I froze mine, I have bought a car and a home security system. In each case I asked, and they told me. No problems.
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