Your credit report and score are crucial to your personal financial stability. A good credit score gives you access to loans at reasonable rates, while a poor score could mean you don’t get the loans you need or are forced to pay a very high cost.
Unfortunately, identity theft fraud cases are on the rise. With more con artists working to get their hands on your credit, it’s more important today to protect yourself than ever before.
The good news is that Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, offers several ways to freeze your report so fraudsters can’t take out loans in your name.
How To Freeze or Unfreeze Your Experian Credit Report Online
Experian’s website allows you to lock your credit report when you’re not on the hunt for loans. Follow the steps below to freeze your Experian credit report:
- Sign up for an Experian account: You’ll need an Experian account to freeze your credit report online. Go to the company’s website and sign up for a free account.
- Log in: Once you’ve created your account, log in to freeze your credit report.
- Place a freeze on your report: Switch the toggle for the “Unfrozen” setting to the “Frozen” option to freeze your credit report.
It’s as easy to unfreeze your Experian credit report as it is to freeze it. To get started, log in to your Experian account. You can then choose from either of the following options:
- Unfreeze your report permanently: Switch the toggle for the “Frozen” setting to the “Unfrozen” option to unfreeze your credit report permanently, until the next time you initiate a credit freeze.
- Schedule a thaw: You can opt to schedule a thaw by setting start and end dates for a certain period. Once that period ends, your credit freeze will be reinstated.
How To Freeze or Unfreeze Your Experian Credit Report by Phone
To activate a credit freeze on your Experian report or remove one by phone, call 888-397-3742.
How To Freeze or Unfreeze Your Experian Credit Report by Mail
You can send a written request to freeze or unfreeze your Experian credit report to the following address:
Experian Security FreezeP.O. Box 9554Allen, TX 75013
Experian notes that you’ll need to provide your name, date of birth, Social Security number and addresses for the past two years. You’ll also need to provide a copy of your driver’s license or another government-issued ID card, in addition to a copy of a bank statement or utility bill. Both copies should reflect your name and current address, and the copy of your ID card should indicate when it was issued.
How Do You Freeze Your Credit Reports With All 3 Credit Bureaus?
Each of the three major credit reporting agencies is a competing business, and they don’t typically work with one another. However, TransUnion and Equifax offer credit freeze options that are comparable to those offered by Experian.
You can sign up for free accounts at all three agencies’ websites and freeze each of your credit reports individually. The good news is that the process is similar for all three credit bureaus.
It’s easy to stop fraudsters in their tracks with Experian’s credit freeze options. Follow the steps above to freeze your Experian credit report when you’re not actively looking for a loan and to thaw it out when it’s time to apply for one.
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