Freeze Your Credit Report
Victim of identity theft? Credit Report Freeze security may be an option
Anyone who's had their identity stolen can attest to the horror of trying to get your life back. At times, it can seem almost impossible. There are thousands of law abiding citizens, who receive phone calls from collection agencies asking them, why they are not paying their bills. The problem is that these poor souls, never knew they had an outstanding bills to pay.
Every resident of the United States has the right to three free government credit reports per year. The credit reports can be acquired from the three National Credit Bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian). You can stagger the rate at which you get your credit reports so that you can get a free credit report every four months.
If you have not taken the time to check your credit reports, it is imperative that you do so.
If you are already a victim of identity theft and you are contemplating freezing your credit report, here is what you need to know.
What does freezing my credit report really mean?
A credit freeze restricts access to your credit report so that potential creditors (loan lenders, credit card issuers, landlords, etc) cannot access your file. Since these potential creditors cannot view your credit history, it is unlikely that they would issue a line of credit to someone who is using your identity.
Who can freeze their credit report?
Not all states allow consumers to freeze their credit reports. Currently, these states allow consumers to freeze their credit reports. If your state is not one of these states, you will need to put an “extended” seven-year alert on your file. Contact any one of the credit bureaus and they will pass the information on to the other two credit bureaus.
How can I freeze my credit report
You can freeze your credit by contacting each of the three National credit Bureaus listed below. The Identify Theft Center recommends sending a sample credit report freeze letter such as this one.
Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, Ga. 30374
P.O. Box 2002
Allen, Texas 75013
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, Pa. 19022