Below you will find the screenshots involved with freezing your credit. If you didn’t already know, freezing credit is a very healthy and normal process that won’t affect your daily life in a negative way. It only serves as an additional layer of protection against identity thieves and hackers. I strongly believe everyone should freeze their credit.
There are three credit bureaus, and you should freeze your credit with all three. The three bureaus are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Simply click on the names of the bureaus in this post, and you will land directly on the credit freeze application pages. The process will take you less than 10 minutes per person.
When you freeze your credit, you will be given a Personal Identification Number (PIN) which will allow you to unfreeze your credit, at your discretion. Be sure to write down you PIN and keep it in a safe place. Identity thieves have every other piece of information necessary to unfreeze your credit and hack it, except this PIN.
If you get locked-out or have trouble, call Experian directly at 1‑888‑397‑3742
If you get locked-out or have trouble, call Equifax directly at 1-800-685-1111.
If you get locked-out or have trouble, call TransUnion directly at 1‑800‑680‑7289.
Freezing your credit is the best way to prevent identity theft, and here’s a post explaining why.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.
25 thoughts on “Exactly how to freeze your credit”
All of your examples show this is being free. But each time I have went to the sites I have been charged $10.
What state do you live in? Cost is dictated by state.
Yep. That’s the difference. Kentucky charges, my state doesn’t. In my opinion, it’s still worth the cost.
Yeah it’s totally worth the piece of mind. I just wanted to be sure I wasn’t being charged if I didn’t need to be. Thanks!
My wife sent this to me earlier. It’s unfortunate that some states feel the need to dictate a charge for this protection, but do we expect anything less from government? Anywho, I’m all frozen now. Thanks for the guide!
I have heard that un-freezing is not an easy thing to do. Can you explain and discuss any cons such as time it takes for the agency to un-freeze? Are there any other cons you can think of?
Unfreezing was easy at two of the credit bureaus but hard with Experian. Don’t lose the pin! You will have great difficulty unfreezing it if you do. I lost my pin and have been dealing with it ever since.
Just an FYI for Transunion you first have to create an account if you didn’t already have one
You get charged $10 in California too. I believe they should be free for those who are party to a leak or some type of breach that want to protect themselves. Same way they provide free credit reports for those cases.
Frustrated with Experian. They say they are unable to freeze online. The phone number is all automated, so I can’t get my questions answered. It is telling me I have to mail all the info in. The other 2 online forms were easy. Anyone else have trouble with Experian?
I sent Experian all the information to unfreeze my credit, and it’s been almost 2 months now. I have not heard anything back and my credit is still frozen. Their system is completely automated, and I’m having a hard time getting through to someone. I am thinking of hiring a lawyer to submit a second request to unfreeze my credit, but unfortunately, I didn’t keep the first letter I sent them. This took me one call to Equifax and Transunion, but Experian has been exceedingly slow/difficult. They requested all sorts of information in writing, rather than just asking me questions. I sent in a utility bill and an insurance statement, a w-2, and a driver’s license, and it’s still frozen. Does anyone have any advice if they refuse to lift it?
Yes. I’m having the exact same problem with Experian. Had no problems at all with TransUnion or Equifax. I’m very hesitant to mail Experian all my info and am not sure what to do now?
Thanks Pete, you have given me a better outlook for the future
It’s not that easy. Remember, these are the people selling your personal information in the first place, why would they make it easy to cut of the revenue stream. Experian was fairly easy, but had issues with both Equifax and TransUnion. If it’s difficult to place the freeze, imagine trying to remove it.
Pete, should I check my credit report with each agency before I freeze or just one and assume the rest are in line?
It wouldn’t hurt to check it at AnnualCreditReport.com (the free place). But it’s not necessary to freeze your credit.
We are planning on buying a house soon. Should we wait and do this after we are approved for our mortgage?
My husband and I each have one credit card. Can we still use them if we freeze our credit? We have been told we can’t.
Credit Freezes only freeze your ability to take out new forms of credit, your cards should still work
I did not receive a PIN from Equifax. The confirmation page was blank. What is my next step? The 800 # seems to be completely automated.
Pete, My family was part of the Anthem breach. My daughter is 11, Do I need to place a freeze on her SS#?
Thank you for the help
My 20 year old daughter is trying to freeze her credit (we received a letter from Anthem that our info was compromised). Trans Union is asking for a $5.00 fee, however when my husband and I froze ours there was no fee. ????
I had no issues using the Equifax website. Experian and TransUnion don’t allow you to use a 1/2 in your address. I tried doing it over the phone with Experian, but their phone system denied me for the same reason. You can’t get a hold of an actual human being at Experian, so I guess I’m screwed. What a farce!
Pete, do you recommend putting a freeze on a child’s “credit” as soon as they are born? Or is that overkill?