How To: Place a Credit Freeze

Everybody in the United States has the ability to place a freeze on their credit reports, however, each state handles credit freezes differently. Some charge a one-time fee for placing the freeze, some do not. While most freezes last forever, some only last for 7 years. We have more information about the terms of credit freezes for each state.

 

Victims of Identity Theft with a Police Report or Federal Trade Commission Report:

If you have a police report or a report from the Federal Trade Commission that states you are a victim of identity theft you are entitled to a free credit freeze. To apply for this credit freeze you will need to mail the following information to the three Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs):

  • A copy of your police report that states you are a victim of identity theft
  • A copy of your current and valid State ID or Driver’s License with your current address.
    • Include a change of address card or printout, if you have moved
  • A copy of your Social Security card
  • A copy of a current bill, current bank statement, current pay stub, or current lease agreement that shows your name and the same address that is on your ID or change of address card/printout.

Include the Form: Security Freeze Request which requests that a freeze is placed on your credit file. You must send a packet to each CRA. Making the request of one will not place it on the other two. Send each packet via Certified Mail with Return Receipt. The CRAs may not accept your request if it is not sent this way.

 

Freezes for Dependent Adults:

In order to freeze the credit report of a dependent adult, you will need to send to the CRAs proof that you have the legal right to request the freeze on behalf of another. Mail to the CRAs:

  • A copy of your power of attorney documentation
  • A copy of your current and valid State ID or Driver’s License.
  • A copy of the dependent adult’s current and valid State ID or Driver’s License with current address.
    • Include a change of address card or printout, if the dependent adult has moved
  • A copy of the dependent adult’s Social Security card
  • A copy of a current bill, current bank statement, current pay stub, or current lease agreement that shows the dependent adult’s name and the same address that is on the ID or change of address card/printout.

Include ITRC’s Letter Form 139.  Make sure you explain who you are and that you are contacting the CRA’s on the dependent’s behalf.  You must send a packet to each CRA. Making the request of one will not place it on the other two. Send each packet via Certified Mail with Return Receipt. The CRAs may not accept your request if it is not sent this way.

 

Minor Children:

Not all states have extended their laws on freezes to include minor children and not every CRA has extended their freeze services to cover those under the age of 18.  You will need to contact each CRA directly to see if your child is eligible for a credit freeze.

  • Equifax
    Offers a free service that will allow parents to create a credit report for a minor and freeze it regardless of the state requirement. The minor does not have to be a victim of identity theft. Equifax has more information on this offering here.
  • Experian
    Covers this topic on their blog.
  • Trans Union
    Lists the qualifying states and age requirements here.
  • Innovis often referred to as the fourth major consumer credit bureau, allows parents or guardians to place a freeze on their dependent’s file regardless of state laws.

 

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