Concerned about the Equifax breach? We understand and we’re here to help. Here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions.
How do I freeze access to my credit report?
A freeze enables TransUnion to control access to your credit information; preventing lenders and others from accessing your report in response to credit applications. TransUnion will place the freeze on your file, and you will be provided with a PIN that you will need to use to lift the freeze in the future. Depending on your state’s law, there may also be different fees associated with placing or lifting a freeze. Because a security freeze remains on your file until you remove it, you’ll need to plan ahead and unfreeze your file before you plan to be active in the credit market (e.g., when applying for credit cards, loans, or a new cell phone plan). Otherwise, lenders and other parties will be unable to access your file to verify your identity.
Freeze My Report
What should I do to protect my identity?
There are a number of steps you can take if you have been part of a data breach or any time you have reason to be concerned about your identity security.
- Pay attention to calls or mail
Communications that you aren’t expecting from lenders, the IRS or even a debt collector may be a sign that you have been a victim of identity theft. If this happens, contact the creditor or IRS immediately and then contact us.
- Check your credit reports
You have the right to a free credit report from all 3 credit bureaus every year. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com for your free report. Reviewing the reports is the best way to see if there’s unusual activity such as: a new account, new or different personal information, or inquiries from lenders you don’t recognize.
- Monitor your financial accounts
Visit all your online bank and financial accounts, and if you haven’t already, set up any alert features they may have. Adding these alerts will ensure you are notified of anything unusual occurring on existing accounts and could help move quickly if fraud is attempted.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit file
If you have been a victim of identity theft, you can place a fraud alert on your credit file. By law, once you have initiated a fraud alert with any one of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies, the alert is automatically shared with the other two. A fraud alert will include the number you want creditors to call to check with you before opening a new account in your name.