Simply Money

Simply Money

Each weeknight at 6pm, Simply Money makes money simple for you. Join hosts Amy Wagner and Steve Sprovach as they share easy-to-understand and...Read More

 

An easy way to help fight identity theft


Do you recommend freezing credit?

A: This is an easy answer – 100%, yes. Freezing your credit is one of the easiest (and most effective) ways to prevent scammers and identity thieves from opening new accounts and lines of credit in your name. It’s also free! And, contrary to what you may have heard, putting a freeze on your credit does not impact your credit score.

All you have to do is go to the websites of the three major credit bureaus (TransUnionExperian, and Equifax) and follow the instructions for placing a freeze (yes, you need to do this at all three of them). You’ll be given a PIN for each lock which you’ll need to unfreeze (or ‘thaw’) your credit down the line – so don’t lose these!

(We should also point out that, even though they’re sometimes used interchangeably, a credit freeze is different than a credit lock; the latter is a paid service.)

One more note: If you’re going to be taking out a mortgage, car loan, or opening a credit card soon, you should wait to freeze your credit until afterward since the lender needs access to your credit files. Or you could implement the freeze, ask the lender which bureau they use, then temporarily unfreeze your credit at that particular bureau until the application process has finished.

Here's The Simply Money Point: A credit freeze is essentially a free crime-fighting tool. Unfortunately, despite this, 71% of people haven’t actually taken the time to place one according to a recent survey from the Identity Theft Resource Center. In our eyes, this is a grave mistake. Become one of the 29% who have made protecting their identity and personal information a priority.


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