What should I do to protect my identity?
You’re the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your identity. Check your credit reports and financial accounts regularly for any suspicious activity. You can get your credit report here for free, once a year, from all three bureaus. Set up transaction alerts if your bank offers them to notify you of all account activity. Finally, consider adding some extra armor like a fraud alert or credit freeze.
What is a credit report?
A credit report dives into the nitty-gritty of your credit activity. This financial diary includes the specifics on all credit card and loan payments, credit inquiries, and any collection accounts and bankruptcies.
What should I do when a data breach occurs?
What is a credit freeze?
A credit freeze prevents lenders from checking your credit in order to open a new account. Remember, if you have a freeze you must remove it to apply for credit. We make it easy for you though, so don’t worry.
What is a fraud alert?
A fraud alert (valid for one year) notifies lenders to call you to verify your identity before extending new credit. This extra step ensures that you are undoubtedly you, and not an imposter trying to open a new credit account to buy a new car in your name. Even better, you only need to add the alert with one bureau and they’ll notify the other two. The best part? It won’t cost you a dime.
Why would I need a freeze or fraud alert?
These powerful tools can help you steer clear of identity theft or prevent history from repeating itself if you’ve already fallen victim. They offer added protection, making it more difficult for anyone, including fraudsters, to apply for credit using your info.
Think of a freeze or fraud alert like a fortress for your personal data. They strengthen your defense but aren’t impenetrable, so it’s still important to regularly monitor your credit.
Will a freeze or fraud alert affect my credit score?
A freeze or fraud alert will not affect your credit score, so go ahead and apply for that loan (just be sure to remove the freeze before you do). Get your dream apartment with the marble countertops.
Can I still apply for credit if I have a freeze?
Not while your credit report is frozen. When you put a freeze on your file, you put a padlock on it (not literally) and new creditors won’t be able to access it. You will need to remove your freeze to apply for new credit.
Do credit freezes freeze my credit card so I can't buy things with it?
No. A credit freeze doesn’t affect your credit card. You credit report won’t be accessible, but that won’t affect your credit card. They are two different things.
How do I place a freeze on my credit report?
The quickest way to place your freeze is online or in the mobile app. Simply login or create an account and be amazed at how easy we made it for you.
Mobile App: Download myTransUnion, available now in the Apple or Google Play App Store.
It’s 2018, so yes, there is an app for that.
Is there a fee for a freeze?
Nope. TransUnion is pleased to offer freezes for free. Freeze removals are also free. So freeze or remove your freeze as often as you want.
Wait… I’m pretty sure I paid for a freeze before, can I have a refund?
It’s true, there used to be a fee for a credit freeze under state law. They are free now which is great news, but no, we won’t be offering refunds. Silver lining, you won’t have to pay for a freeze ever again.
Can a company I already have a relationship with view my credit report if I have a freeze placed?
Yes. Any company you already have an account with will still be able to access your credit report regarding the existing account, but they will not be able to use your credit report to open a new account in your name.
Can you put a freeze on existing credit cards?
It may sound like a credit freeze would impact your credit cards, but it has absolutely no effect on credit cards you already own. A freeze prevents your credit report from being accessed when you (and anyone else) tries to open new accounts, but you can still use the credit cards you have.
Note: If you’re looking to temporarily prevent charges on the plastic you currently carry, consult with your credit card issuer.
If I freeze with TransUnion do I need to freeze with the other bureaus?
Yes. You can freeze your TransUnion credit report with us, but to freeze your other credit reports you must contact each of the other bureaus, specifically Equifax and Experian. We included their contact info below to make it easy for you. You’re welcome.
Equifax: P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA, 30374
Experian Security Freeze: P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013
Could someone access my credit report even though I placed a freeze on my account?
Someone, but not just anyone. Under federal law, a freeze won’t stop someone from checking your credit in the following situations.
What is permissible purpose?
Permissible purpose is a reason specified in the law that allows someone to check your credit report. A credit freeze stops a creditor from accessing your credit report to open a new account, even though they have permissible purpose. But if the permissible purpose is to review your credit report to make changes to an account you already have, a freeze won’t stop that.
How do I temporarily lift a freeze?
To temporarily lift your freeze, login to your account (either online or download myTransUnion, available in the Apple or Google Play App Store) and select "Temporarily Lift Freeze”. Then enter the dates you want the lift to happen.
To make things easy, you can plan and schedule your freeze removal up to 15 days in advance of when you want it to happen. If you wish to unfreeze more than 15 days from today, please login closer to the date when you want your credit report unfrozen.
How do I remove a freeze?
To remove your freeze, login to your account (either online or download myTransUnion, available in the Apple or Google Play App Store) and select “Remove Credit Freeze”. When you are ready, you can come back and freeze again.
*By removing your TransUnion credit freeze, you are opening your credit report to be accessible to lenders.
What if I need to apply for credit while my freeze is active?
Not a problem. With a freeze, you’re in control of who gets the scoop on your finances. Remove or temporarily lift your freeze and start your application.
Is a freeze permanent?
You’re in control of how long a freeze stays on your credit report. Your report will be frozen until you request its removal.
Can I place a freeze for my family members?
Yes. Spouses can request freezes for each other by phone at (888) 909-8872, as long as they pass authentication. You can also request a freeze for someone if you have a valid Power of Attorney by calling (888) 909-8872.
If you are a parent/guardian/representative you can freeze for a minor 15 and younger.
How do I freeze for my minor child?
If you are a parent or guardian of a minor and would like to freeze their credit report, we can help. Here's what you'll need to provide.
Can I freeze a credit report for a deceased family member?
We’re sorry you have to go through this tough time. While you can’t freeze the credit report of a deceased family member, you can update your family member’s credit report to show as deceased. This will notify any creditor who attempts to pull the report that the consumer is deceased. Follow the steps below and we will help you update your loved one’s credit report and give you peace of mind:
Contact all creditors that the deceased person(s) did business with and request that they mark their files accordingly. Be sure to forward a copy of the death certificate to them, once you receive it.
Check with the Social Security Administration to ensure that they have updated their files and notified the credit reporting companies. Refer to the internet to find the address and phone number of the nearest Social Security office.
Forward a copy of the death certificate to one of the three credit reporting companies; the receiving bureau will notify the other two companies. This will allow the credit reporting agencies to add a notation to the credit report that the consumer is deceased. Along with the death certificate, please include the person’s legal name, Social Security number, date of birth and date of death. The letter should also include the name and mailing address for the spouse, plus a copy of their identification. If the request is from an executor for the deceased, or someone other than a spouse, we need a copy of identification for the requestor, plus a copy of the will/executor agreement or Power of Attorney documentation.
You can mail your information to TransUnion at:
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
How do I change my freeze PIN?
Requesting a new PIN is quick and easy online. Login and follow the prompts and have your new PIN in a flash.
Your PIN is a 6-digit number that will be associated with your credit freeze. Choose something that you'll remember but others might not easily guess. Your PIN needs to be something not previously used, and can’t be all zeroes.
What is the PIN used for?
PINs are there to add security and make sure it’s really you making changes to your credit report when using the phone system. Again, you will only need it to change your freeze via phone. You won’t need it to make changes to your freeze online or through the mobile app.