Putting on a credit freeze:

Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian all have online, phone, and postal mail channels for requesting a credit freeze. Identifying details like your social security number and home address will be required, so have them handy. As part of this process, the credit bureau will provide you with a PIN or password. Requesting a freeze online or over the phone should have immediate results, but it may take three days from the time a credit agency receives your written correspondence before the freeze is actually implemented.

 The main step is to call the three major credit agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) and request that they place a freeze on your account. You can also request a freeze on your credit report via the web if you’d rather avoid giving your personal information over the phone.

Lifting a credit freeze

Removing a credit freeze is just as easy as placing one. You must get in touch with the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian). Be prepared with the PIN each bureau provided you at the time you initiated the freeze. Credit freeze removal via phone or the Internet should take no more than an hour. If you go through the mail, it will take three days after they receive your communication for the credit freeze to be lifted.  If you know which bureau a potential lender or employer will use to pull your credit report, you can lift your credit freeze at that bureau. Unless you want to repeat the procedure with all three of them, if you need someone, like a landlord, to agree to your tenancy, you might also provide them with temporary access to your credit. Another option is to lift the freeze temporarily while you apply for loans from different banks.

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