What you need to know

Posted September 14, 2017

What is a credit freeze?

What do you do if you're the CEO of an extremely profitable credit-bureau business that's suffered a massive breach, leading to Congressional probes, consumer outrage measured in dozens of lawsuits and counting, formal investigations by state attorneys general and calls for your resignation? If they can't see your file, they may not extend the credit.

No. A credit freeze does not affect your credit score. Morfeld said that offering only a year of free monitoring means that Equifax, which provides credit monitoring as a paid service, stands to profit from its security breakdown.

Liebers asked one of Equifax's execs in charge of not losing your data if he'd be resigning in the wake of the scandal.

It does cost $5 in OH to freeze your file, and $5 to "thaw" it if you're applying for a loan or credit card. The company has since dropped its credit-freeze fees and requirement for binding arbitration in consumer disputes.

"Five years from now you may get a check for ten dollars as a member of the class". "Sharing this information with our office will allow us to warn others to be on the lookout for similar attempts".

If your debit card has been breached: Do all of the above as for credit cards, but pay very careful attention to your account. Several readers said they received error messages there, too, when they tried to get a copy of their report.

"I am concerned about the global financial system and keeping it safe", he said at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in NY. Here's how to put a freeze on your report.

Credit reporting company Equifax Inc. corporate offices are
Credit reporting company Equifax Inc. corporate offices are

Certain entities still will have access to it.

How do I freeze my credit?

The breach, which went public last week, potentially compromised personal information including the social security numbers, dates of birth, names and addresses of 143 million consumers nationwide. If you don't recognize the names of companies snooping around, find out what's happening.

And it is not your fault that the company could not keep that data safe. If you freeze it, it isn't as valuable.

Beware of scammers who may purport to be from the retailer, your bank, or your credit card issuer, telling you that your card was compromised and suggesting actions to "fix" the problem. "They'll work with all three credit bureaus and freeze your credit". The cost to lift a freeze varies by state.

A freeze typically prevents lenders from accessing a potential borrower's credit report, although it doesn't affect existing credit arrangements such as outstanding loans.

A credit freeze locks down your credit. This will require creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity before issuing credit. "Thank you for your continued patience and feedback as we continue to improve this process". "A security freeze, or credit freeze, stops "new account fraud" so crooks can't take out new lines of credit in your name no matter how much stolen private information they have about you".