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 What about unfreezing the by John
Starting September 21, 2018, it will be free to freeze and unfreeze your credit file throughout the country.
In reply to My credit is already frozen. by inetblue
Starting September 21, 2018, it will be free to place and lift a freeze on your credit file, nationwide.
In reply to Does the law also allow by Thurman
As of September 21, 2018, you can get a free freeze for your children who are under age 16. To get a freeze, contact all three of the nationwide credit reporting agencies:
In reply to Do we have to set up on all 3 by Curious
When the law takes effect on September 21, 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.
In reply to Appears this item can be by T. Al
Actually, you are able to email AND print the blog post.
You have two choices to email:
(1) copy the URL from the top of the blog post page (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/06/free-credit-freezes-are-coming-soon-0) and paste that into a message
(2) copy the text of the entire blog and paste that into your message
To print: Open your browser to the blog. Click the print command on your computer. Some computers use the shorthand command of clicking "Control" and the letter "P" to open the Print box. You will get a printed version of the blog post centered on a page.
In reply to Appears this item can be by T. Al
In reply to Does your credit still grow by Faith15
Yes, your credit can still change after you place a freeze on your credit file.
When you place a freeze on your credit file, businesses can still report whether you are paying your bills on time, or late. When there is a freeze on your file, it means it is harder for a thief to open a new account in your name.
In reply to Yes, your credit can still by FTC Staff
In reply to Should credit freezes be put by viskal
You can’t freeze the credit file of a deceased family member, but you can update their file to show they are deceased. The update lets the credit reporting agency “flag” a person’s file to make it harder for someone to use their identity to commit fraud. Credit reporting agencies also receive notice of a death from the Social Security Administration and from a person’s lenders.
To notify the credit reporting agencies yourself, contact one of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. That agency will notify the other two. You must give a death certificate, information about the deceased, and documents showing that you are the person’s spouse, executor, or otherwise have legal authority to act on their behalf. You can get more information about this from the credit reporting agency websites.
In reply to When will my freeze start? by Cornbread
You must ask for a credit freeze. You must ask all three of the nationwide credit reporting agencies. Here is contact information for the three agencies:
www. Equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services; 800-685-1111
www.Experian.com/help ; 888-397-3742