Looking for stronger ways to protect your credit? Thanks to a new federal law, soon you can get free credit freezes and year-long fraud alerts. Here’s what to look forward to when the law takes effect on September 21st:
Free credit freezes
- What is it? A credit freeze restricts access to your credit file, making it harder for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. Usually you get a PIN to use each time you want to freeze and unfreeze your account to apply for new credit.
- What’s new? Currently, credit freezes may involve fees, based on state law. Starting this fall, it will be free to freeze and unfreeze your credit file throughout the country.
Free child credit freezes
- What is it? A child credit freeze allows you to freeze a child’s credit file until the child is old enough to use credit.
- What’s new? Currently, some state laws allow you to freeze a child’s credit file. Starting September 21st, no matter where you live, you’ll be able to get a free credit freeze for children under age 16.
Year-long fraud alerts
- What is it? A fraud alert will tell any business that runs your credit that they should check with you before opening a new account.
- What’s new? Currently, fraud alerts last 90 days. Starting this fall, an initial fraud alert will last for one year. It will still be free and identity theft victims can still get an extended fraud alert for seven years.
The new law has a long name – Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act – but the outcome is simple. When the law takes effect in September, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion must each set up a webpage for requesting fraud alerts and credit freezes. The FTC will also post links to those webpages on IdentityTheft.gov.
And if you’re in the military, there’s more. Within a year, credit reporting agencies must offer free electronic credit monitoring to all active duty military.
If you want to stay tuned on this law and get other tips, sign up for the FTC's Consumer Information Updates.
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In reply to Awesome since I've received 2 by altheaw28
In reply to Why/how does a child have a by clm
A child might have a credit report if an identity thief used the child's Social Security number to apply for government benefits, open bank and credit card accounts, apply for a loan or utility service, or rent a place to live.
You can check to see whether your child has a credit report. The FTC article about child identity theft explains how to check. If your child's information is being misused, go to IdentityTheft.gov to report and recover from identity theft.
In reply to Why/how does a child have a by clm
In reply to My credit report been hit 3 by Mike
In reply to The credit freezing is a step by george8299
In reply to Whenever I receive a robocall by tomkirdas
In reply to We are conservators of an by Enquiring Minds
The new law allows a conservator to get a free freeze for the person you legally represent, after you provide proof that you have authority to act on the person's behalf. Usually the proof you must provide is a court order or power of attorney.
This is awesome!!! Thank you!
Great news!! For Fathers day. Whoever came up with this one deserves a Nobel Prize.
In reply to Bridget, please correct me if by Jake
Yes, currently you can get a credit freezes, but there may be fees, based on state law.
Starting this fall - across the country - it will be free to freeze and unfreeze your credit file.
In reply to If I already have credit by Curtis
If you have freezes in place on September 21, 2018, and you want to keep them, you don't need to do anything. A freeze remains in place until you ask a credit reporting agency to lift it temporarily or permanently.
In reply to Hi, by VConfusedNow
When you place a security freeze, it remains in place until you ask the credit reporting agency to lift it, either temporarily or permanently. If you placed a security freeze before September 21, 2018 and have not lifted the freeze since you placed it, the freeze is still in place.
Under the new law, you won't have to pay when you lift the freeze temporarily or permanently. The new law also lets people place a fraud alert that lasts for one year.
In reply to When the law takes effect in by FTC Staff
In reply to What about ChexSystems, by timh
In reply to TL,DR: Yes, they are covered by RobertS
The new law is an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The new credit freeze law applies to nationwide credit reporting agencies that furnish consumer reports based on both public record information and credit account information.
In reply to Thanks Bridget, but what by timh
The law applies only to nationwide credit reporting agencies. Please contact a business directly to ask if it offers a freeze.