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Why Doesn't Everyone Freeze Their Credit?
Old 01-22-2014, 02:42 PM   #1
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Why Doesn't Everyone Freeze Their Credit?

Over the last few days I have received emails from Target and a former employer saying that my personal information may have been hacked. It has not really concerned me because my husband and I have our credit frozen with all 3 credit bureaus. We did the freeze several years ago (it is free here in North Carolina). We have had to unfreeze once for a few days and it was really no problem.

With all the stolen identity problems and hacking that is going on, it seems to me that most every should freeze their credit. Why wouldn't someone do this?

Jo Ann
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golftrek View Post
Over the last few days I have received emails from Target and a former employer saying that my personal information may have been hacked. It has not really concerned me because my husband and I have our credit frozen with all 3 credit bureaus. We did the freeze several years ago (it is free here in North Carolina). We have had to unfreeze once for a few days and it was really no problem.

With all the stolen identity problems and hacking that is going on, it seems to me that most every should freeze their credit. Why wouldn't someone do this?

Jo Ann
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We're in NC and did it free several years ago. Got very long pins to unfreeze, did it once to take advantage of CC rebate for tires. Absolutely no problem. We don't do a lot of "shopping" but have opened Macy's and other CC accounts for the extra 20% off, but we've used those privileges up. I suppose if we change insurance we'd have to unfreeze, but that's all I can imagine needing to do it for.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:50 PM   #3
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You are fortunate that NC does not allow the credit bureau to charge for freeze/unfreeze transactions.

I had to pay $10/bureau up front to freeze and then $10 for each temporary or permanent unfreeze.

Small price to pay for the security of knowing that any identity theft attempts will be very limited in scope.

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Old 01-22-2014, 07:11 PM   #4
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Most states allow a charge of up to $10 to freeze or temporarily thaw one's credit report. Why some states charge ten dollars and others are free or as low as three dollars is beyond me.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:00 AM   #5
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Didn't know about the practice, we're looking into it, thanks.
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:59 PM   #6
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Many years ago, the first time we experienced identify theft, we had ours frozen at the recommendation of the CC "identity theft counselor" (or some title like that) who worked with us to get everything back in order. Because we had been the victims of fraud, there was no charge.

DH applied for a credit card a few months ago, not remembering we had that freeze. A few days later, he received a call from Chase, asking all sorts of questions. The lady explained it was because of the freeze. The card arrived a few days later.

We have purchased 2 or 3 cars, with the freeze in place, and not a thing was ever said. I keep meaning to look into that, though we were happy to get the deals over...painful enough, without anything added in.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:38 AM   #7
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I'm pretty sure everything is frozen this morning...
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:46 PM   #8
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It is probably a good idea and I will look into it as well. I do subscribe to a FICO score change monitoring service. So far that has been worth the money to me to see how the different things we do financially change our FICO score, and at least I would probably be alerted shortly after the fact if someone tried to get credit in our names.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:17 PM   #9
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Free credit monitoring -Target

Quote:
Originally Posted by golftrek View Post
Over the last few days I have received emails from Target...
Jo Ann
We also received email from Target:
Because we value you as a guest and your trust is important to us, Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring to all Target guests who shopped in U.S. stores, through Experian’s® ProtectMyID® product which includes identity theft insurance where available. To receive your unique activation code for this service, please go to creditmonitoring.target.com and register before April 23, 2014

So we setup the free monitoring. It was easy and it included free credit report from Experian. We already have credit card alerts setup, so I hope that we will be OK.

I don't know about the credit freeze option - how good is it if someone has your information and use it to unfreeze it
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:46 PM   #10
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I have frozen ours and when we did we were given about 10 digit passwords that are required to unfreeze. Not ironclad, but a lot better than having someone with SSN and other data being able to get credit just for the asking.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:04 PM   #11
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I have frozen ours and when we did we were given about 10 digit passwords that are required to unfreeze. Not ironclad, but a lot better than having someone with SSN and other data being able to get credit just for the asking.
10 digit password is good! I will check it out.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:26 PM   #12
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I've also been thinking about freezing ours. I don't anticipate a need for credit in the near term and will put this on my to do list.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:40 PM   #13
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Clark Howard's website has a good tutorial on how to freeze your credit with all 3 credit agencies. Check it out.

As for a criminal being able to unfreeze your account, I think it would be difficult. Each agency gives you a code to use in unfreezing. We keep our codes in a very safe place.

I bet if a criminal stoled personal info on someone and tried to steal their identity but found out their credit was frozen, they would give up on that person and move on to the next victim. Criminals are looking for an easy mark. Someone with frozen credit is not an easy mark.

I sleep easier knowing my credit is frozen and a criminal can't easily steal my identity.

Jo Ann
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:57 PM   #14
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Not sure I'm understanding. You are freezing with the credit reporting agencies. This stops you from using your credit cards or getting loans without unfreezing? What does this mean exactly?
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:05 PM   #15
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Not sure I'm understanding. You are freezing with the credit reporting agencies. This stops you from using your credit cards or getting loans without unfreezing? What does this mean exactly?

I also have a freeze on my credit report with all 3 agencies. It means that I cannot apply for a new CC or a loan. That also means that anyone pretending to be me cannot apply for a credit card or loan. It has no effect on using the credit cards I already have.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:52 PM   #16
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I have CDs with a few financial institutions, and when these mature, I may renew them, or simply shop around for one with a better rate.

Would such activity be negatively impacted if I have a credit freeze in place?

I have no need to get loans ( or any kind ) and do not expect to be applying for new credit cards anymore ( not even store branded cards ), now that I am in ER.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:56 PM   #17
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I have CDs with a few financial institutions, and when these mature, I may renew them, or simply shop around for one with a better rate.

Would such activity be negatively impacted if I have a credit freeze in place?

I have no need to get loans ( or any kind ) and do not expect to be applying for new credit cards anymore ( not even store branded cards ), now that I am in ER.
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.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:36 AM   #18
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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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Old 01-25-2014, 05:57 AM   #19
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Alan, Thank you. I've never heard of this "credit freeze" with the credit report agencies.
Thanks to everyone. I'm learning many financial ideas from this site.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:18 AM   #20
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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.
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