How to Place a Credit Freeze On Your Credit Report

Summary:

A credit freeze can prevent new accounts from being opened in your name. It’s a free, easy way to protect your identity. You’re in control of your freeze. If you need to apply for a loan for your next major purchase, you can lift your freeze so those who need your credit report information have access to it.

In this article:

How to freeze your credit
How to unfreeze your credit
How to freeze your child’s credit report
Why you should place a credit freeze 

A credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, is a free tool you can use to protect your credit report. When you place a credit freeze, third parties like lenders and other companies whose use is not exempt under the law, are unable to access your credit file. A credit freeze is especially useful if you don’t have plans to apply for credit soon. It can keep your identity safe until you’re ready for a loan.

Here’s how to place a credit freeze on your TransUnion credit report:

How to freeze your credit

The quickest and easiest way to freeze your TransUnion credit report is through the TransUnion Service Center. If you don’t have an account already, you’ll need to make one by providing some personal information and picking a username and password. When you’re logged in, you’ll see the option for Credit Freeze both on the homepage and in the menu at the top. When you select “Credit Freeze,” you’ll see a button that says “Add Freeze.” Hit the “continue” button on the page that pops up to activate the freeze. You should receive an email confirmation when your freeze is activated. 

 

Now that your credit report freeze is active, you can remove the freeze indefinitely or temporarily lift the freeze as needed. A temporary lift is ideal if you’re shopping for a loan for a major purchase like a home or car. You can enter in a date to make the freeze active again. You will receive email notifications of your freeze status to the email address attached to your TransUnion Service Center account.

You can also place a credit freeze by phone or mail. You can call 800-916-8800 to use TransUnion’s automated system. The automated system will ask you for your Social Security Number, date of birth, mailing address and zip code to verify your identity. The system will connect you to an agent if it is unable to verify your identity.

To add a freeze by mail, you need to send in a written request that includes your name, address and Social Security number and provide copies of two documents to verify your identity and current mailing address.

Provide a copy of one of these documents to verify your identity:

  • Social Security card
  • Letter from the Social Security Administration
  • Military ID
  • Medicaid or Medicare card

Provide a copy of one of these documents to verify your address:

  • Driver’s license
  • Utility bill
  • Bank or credit union statement
  • Canceled check
  • Pay stub
  • Signed homeless shelter letter
  • Prison ID letter
  • Stamped post office box receipt
  • Government-issued ID
  • State ID card

Mail the document copies and your request to:

TransUnion
P.O. Box 160
Woodlyn, PA 19094

How to unfreeze your credit

Your credit freeze will remain in place until you remove or temporarily lift it. You can remove or temporarily lift your freeze easily online. If you’d like to remove or temporarily lift your freeze by phone, call TransUnion at 800-916-8800.

To remove your freeze by mail, send a written request to the address above, the same address used to place the freeze, that includes your name, address and Social Security number. You can schedule a temporary lift of your freeze online up to 15 days in advance.

How to freeze your child’s credit report

Even young people can be victims of identity theft. Child identity theft is particularly problematic because there may not be any obvious signs until they’re old enough to apply for credit on their own and are denied based on adverse information in their file. Some warning signs of identity theft can include suspicious mail for children, like credit card or financial offers, or having a financial or credit application for your child denied due to a poor credit history.

To help protect your child’s credit health, you can add what’s called a protected consumer freeze to your child’s credit file. A protected consumer freeze can only be done by mail. You’ll need to provide supporting documents to verify your identity and relationship. All the information you need to add a protected consumer freeze can be found on the credit freeze FAQ page. The FAQ page will also provide the necessary steps to help you protect your spouse, an incapacitated adult, and a deceased family member.

Why you should place a credit freeze

A credit freeze can give you peace of mind — with a freeze active, fraudsters can’t successfully apply for credit in your name. You will need to freeze your credit reports with Equifax and Experian independently if you want freezes in place with all three nationwide credit reporting agencies. Just because you have a freeze in place, that doesn’t mean you’re immune from identity theft. Read our blog on preventing identity theft for 5 tips to protect yourself

 

Disclaimer: The information posted to this blog was accurate at the time it was initially published. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. The information contained in the TransUnion blog is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. You should consult your own attorney or financial adviser regarding your particular situation. This site is governed by the TransUnion Interactive privacy policy located here.

What You Need to Know:

The credit scores provided are based on the VantageScore® 3.0 model. Lenders use a variety of credit scores and are likely to use a credit score different from VantageScore® 3.0 to assess your creditworthiness.

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