With the recent hack of Equifax and perhaps 50% of all US resident’s personal information exposed, now is a good time to consider a freeze of your credit.  Since most readers of this blog are accredited, we have the most to lose. Marketers would like you to believe that a $50 credit monitoring service is the best course of action.  Why pay someone to tell you have a huge problem after the fact?  Then you have to spend time and money to try and fix this potential horror. A credit freeze can prevent a problem from ever occurring.

Over five years ago, I froze my credit with the three largest credit agencies. It helps me sleep at night.  One less thing to worry about.  They issue you a unique pin.  No one can open an account or check your credit unless you thaw your credit by using your pin. It may seem like a hassle.  In realty, it’s not much trouble or time consuming.  You can freeze your credit online in less than 5 minutes per agency.  Its free in many states, but may cost $10 or so in some states. It’s all done online and it’s been painless for me personally.  I don’t take on much debt.  The only time I had to unfreeze it was for getting a new credit card (It gave a $1500 sign up bonus), credit approval for a free iPhone from Sprint and getting approved for a line of credit on my home.  You can often check with your new credit sources and only thaw the service they use to check your credit.

There is actually a fourth credit agency, Innovis.  I froze my credit there this week.  You can also freeze reporting at Chexsytems, which should make it difficult for a hacker to open a checking account in your name.

 

Here are the links to freeze your credit with each company:

 

https://freeze.transunion.com/sf/securityFreeze/landingPage.jsp

 

https://www.experian.com/ncaconline/freeze

 

https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp

 

https://www.chexsystems.com/web/chexsystems/consumerdebit/page/securityfreeze/information

 

https://www.innovis.com/personal/securityFreeze

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