Freeze Your Credit To Stop Identity Theft Damage-mentalist

Broadband-Inter. The potential theft of ones personal information, known as identity theft, is an ever looming problem that threatens us all. According to Consumer Union, more than eight million American consumers are victims of identity theft each year. Identity thieves often use stolen personal to apply for new credit accounts in the victim’s name In an attempt to minimize that threat, many people are now enrolling in subscription-based credit monitoring services such as Lifelock, Identity Guard, Trusted ID and others. These services promise to notify the subscriber of any questionable or fraudulent activity on their credit and bank accounts. While these services may be useful in protecting against theft and illicit use of personal information, there is one inexpensive but effective option for credit protection that has received little attention in the media the credit freeze. While most people are unaware of this credit protection provision, it is undeniable that credit freezes (also known as security freezes) are effective tools to help guard against damage from personal ID theft. When a credit freeze is placed on your accounts, the credit reporting agencies are prohibited from releasing your credit report to third parties without your consent. A credit freeze allows you to seal your credit reports so no one can access the information until you authorize it. To temporarily authorize or "thaw" the account and release information for processing of legitimate credit applications you must use the personal identification number (PIN) that was issued to you when you initiated the freeze. The PIN is a number known only to you, so it’s important you keep that information secure. Having a credit freeze creates an additional security layer that makes is virtually impossible for thieves to open up a new credit account in your name, even if they somehow obtained your personal ID information. Freezing your credit report is not free, but the cost is very nominal with respect to the amount of security this action places over your credit information. Depending on what state you live in, the fee for a credit freeze ranges from about $3-$10 per person for each of the three credit bureaus. In many states there is no fee for identity theft victims with a valid police report or proof of identity theft. It is not advisable to freeze your credit if you create new credit accounts on a regular basis with financial institutions, because the costs of having to continually lift the freeze would be quite excessive. Additionally, freezing your accounts may delay or disallow the timely approval of any legitimate request for credit, loan applications, inter. credit card transaction and point of sale extensions of credit. If you are actively seeking credit, you must be aware that the procedures involved in lifting a security freeze may slow your own applications for credit. It is prudent therefore to plan ahead and lift a credit freeze a few days before actually applying for new credit. While there is some inconvenience with putting a credit freeze on your accounts, the advantages of having the extra security outweigh the inconveniences for most people. At the very least, it is another option to consider when looking at ways to protect your identity from being stolen. To apply for a credit freeze, you must contact each of the three credit reporting agenciesEquifax, TransUnion, and Experianfill out the appropriate paperwork and pay applicable fees. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: