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Have You Freezed/Unfreezed Your Credit Yet?
Old 09-21-2018, 09:34 AM   #1
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Have You Freezed/Unfreezed Your Credit Yet?

It's 9/21/2018. A new day dawns . Free now by law to freeze/unfreeze your credit.

My credit is already frozen (got hacked a few years ago). But here is an article that contains direct links to the freeze/unfreeze pages of the big 3 credit bureaus:

Quote:
Freezing your files at the big three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — is one of the best ways to protect yourself from financial identity theft. Starting Sept. 21, everyone can do it — for free.

Until now, it could cost as much as $10 to freeze your file at each credit bureau, depending on your age and where you live. That same fee applied to unfreeze or “thaw” the file, if you wanted to apply for credit. And then, you had to pay again to refreeze it.

In the wake of the last year’s Equifax mega-breach of nearly 148 million personal records, Congress passed a law that requires the credit bureaus to offer this important fraud protection free of charge. Now, you can freeze and thaw and refreeze your account as many times as you want, and it won’t cost anything.
Quote:
Keep in mind: The credit bureau websites are designed to sell you products and services, so use these direct links:
https://www.nbcnews.com/better/amp/ncna911101
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Old 09-21-2018, 09:38 AM   #2
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Have had mine frozen for several years. Only occasionally have had to thaw them, but have found that to be pretty easy. I am glad to see that it's free, though.
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Old 09-21-2018, 10:12 AM   #3
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Mine have been frozen for a few years, after one of those big health insurers (Anthem, BCBS?) had a data breach. The freeze unknowingly (and annoyingly) prevented me from gaining instant credit at the cashier at a department store and some special discount. A few months later, when I asked for a CC credit line increase from my local bank, the rep reminded me to make sure my credit report was thawed first, something which ended up being done in a 3-way phone call with the bank rep and rating agency rep. There was no charge for any of this because I live in New York which bans fees for this.
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Old 09-21-2018, 10:54 AM   #4
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According to some comments in this Krebs article, the big credit bureaus had already started rolling out free thaws in August working to comply with the Sept deadline. I think some folks on this forum already experienced that.
https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/09/...l-be-fee-free/

Another article today with links to the bureaus, etc.:
https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/09/...ice-age-begin/
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My Experience Today
Old 01-19-2019, 11:25 AM   #5
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My Experience Today

The idea of going through a thaw on all 3 agencies has kept me from upgrading credit cards, so I thought I'd document it for myself. Then I decided, why not share the results? I see in the OP that the URL's were already available. I posted the URL's that I used (maybe not the same...didn't check).


Bottom line is that 2 worked painlessly, and one (Equifax) was a pain. When I tried to create an account there, it said I needed to call. The thaw was over the phone and took 18 minutes! But they did say that it was an error on their end and that next time, I could log into my account that didn't work today.



Code:
TRANSUNION:
===========

Go to:
https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze

Click "Login"

https://service.transunion.com/dss/login.page
Use LastPass entry "Login TransUnion"

"A lift that you schedule to start today will begin 15 minutes after you receive confirmation that the lift has been added. 01/xx/2019 - 01/yy/2019"

EXPERIAN:
=========
Go to:
https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html

Click: "Remove or lift a security freeze"

Use LastPass form fill "Experian Thaw Form Fill 2019"
to fill-in the form (includes the existing freeze/thaw pin from the earlier freeze).

"You have temporarily removed your security freeze from 01/xx/2019 through 01/yy/2019."
It will echo back the freeze/thaw pin and say you need to print the page.
Didn't say how long it would be until it was effective.


EQUIFAX:
========
Go to:
https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/

Click "LOG IN > FREEZE AND FRAUD ALERTS"

If no account, 
Click "GET STARTED"
Enter name, address and SSN, add email address and generated password for new account. 

FAILED: Had to call 888-836-6351

They asked all the same questions, then lots of questions about things on my credit report (mortgage payment, etc).
I asked to have the thaw last x days
conf#: xxxxxxxxx
Rep said it would be effective in 10 minutes.
The call lasted 18 minutes!
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:14 PM   #6
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Thanks.... ^^^^^ nice to have this documented.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:39 PM   #7
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I froze mine after the Equifax hack a year or two back. Yeah the fees were bothersome, but the bigger point was to avoid the headaches of someone opening a credit account in my name.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:50 PM   #8
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Froze all 3 and lost the passwords to unfreeze.
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
Froze all 3 and lost the passwords to unfreeze.
Have you gotten them back ?

Someday you may need them, and I'm sure the process to get them should be slow and long, otherwise a scammer can phone in and get them.
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:06 AM   #10
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I froze ours about 8 years ago and have only needed to unfreeze once when buying a car which we paid off 3 months later. I did this at the dealership while they confirmed our status. I only needed to unfreeze the one bureau they checked with. Took about 30 minutes and then I froze it back. We don't borrow money. Don't need any more than the 2 credit cards we have had for many years, and won't be taking out credit for anything else. We just pay cash. I don't want or need any unnecessary hassles. I think at the time it cost me the $10 which wasn't a big deal.


Cheers!
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:17 AM   #11
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I've thought about it, but haven't done it yet. I don't think we'd need to apply for any loans going forward, but may want a new batch of travel CCs later this year. It may be worth the hassle now that it's free.

What other times have their been "unanticipated" negative consequences due to having a freeze - I mean other than the obvious of applying for credit?
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:21 AM   #12
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I froze our credit back when the big Equifax breach went public. Needed to do a temp unfreeze last week so I could become a member of Navy FCU and transfer an IRA. Was able to take care of everything online within a few minutes.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:39 AM   #13
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All 3 of mine have been frozen for a long time. I dread having to unfreeze them. I can see the nightmare potential. Hopefully out of the three, one will un-freeze without a problem and whoever I'll be dealing with will find that acceptable.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:46 AM   #14
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The Fidelity Visa people made it clear that I needed to unfreeze all 3. Even told a story of a frustrated customer who unfroze 2 and was denied the card.


You would not think opening a bank account would be blocked by frozen credit, but it was for me, several times.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:01 AM   #15
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I had to unfreeze to get a Chase Amazon Prime VISA, which was not an easy experience with Equifax, though I think some of the issue was with Chase insisting I had to give them a PIN and Equifax never seeming to have an option to create a temporary PIN. Eventually it got sorted out, but it was not seamless.

When I bought a car in 2017, though, the dealer told me which bureau to unfreeze, waited while I did it with the web browser on my phone, and it was dealt with in under five minutes.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:08 AM   #16
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I needed to unfreeze at least one last year to open one of these social security MyAccounts. I couldn't get the SS account thing to work. I was thinking that SS just had a crappy system but after some research found that the way they verify you online with their list of questions is to hit your credit accounts. Fortunately the SS office in this town is about 2 1/2 miles down the road so I went in person with birth cert, DD-214, driver's license.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razztazz View Post
I needed to unfreeze at least one last year to open one of these social security MyAccounts. I couldn't get the SS account thing to work. I was thinking that SS just had a crappy system but after some research found that the way they verify you online with their list of questions is to hit your credit accounts. Fortunately the SS office in this town is about 2 1/2 miles down the road so I went in person with birth cert, DD-214, driver's license.
Do you mean SS needs access to your credit?

But wait, my VISA tells me my credit score every few weeks. Do they not have access to it since I froze all three or do they have access regardless of freeze since I opened that CC before I froze?
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:51 PM   #18
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I had to unfreeze one bureau to get a new credit union account opened.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
Do you mean SS needs access to your credit?

But wait, my VISA tells me my credit score every few weeks. Do they not have access to it since I froze all three or do they have access regardless of freeze since I opened that CC before I froze?
They don't care about your credit. They ask those somewhat scary security questions like "which of the following addresses have you lived at" followed by a random list that includes some place you lived two houses ago. They apparently get these from credit reports.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:44 PM   #20
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Someone asked about hassles of credit freeze.... I had a heck of a time changing cell phone providers from Ting to T-Mobile... Which is silly since I wasn't financing anything... was bringing my own phones, etc.... but they insisted my credit be checked to set up the account. That was the only hassle I've had.
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