What is a Credit Card Freeze?

When a credit card is frozen, your credit card account is made inactive, preventing the card or the credit card account from anyone accessing your credit or credit report.

There are a variety of reasons for freezing a credit card, however, when it is done, a credit card freeze is the equivalent of a dead lock that will keep anyone from opening any form of new credit in your name or access your credit card information. When you opt to  to authorize a credit card freeze even you will be locked out of opening new credit lines for yourself freely and you will only be able to access your information with a special PIN code to remove the freeze. It is a great tool to prevent identity theft in case you have been a victim of credit card theft or have had your wallet stolen with all your ID and personal information inside.

There are several reasons why a consumer may choose a credit card freeze. People who are shopaholics and way over their head with debt might activate a freeze as a tough love choice for themselves. But the biggest reason is if you suspect or have been a victim of identity theft. A credit card freeze is more effective than a traditionally fraud alert on a credit card report as it can lock down and prevent further violations to your credit from occurring.


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These articles are written by the in-house GOBankingRates team.