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: