In 2017, Equifax experienced a large data breach that exposed millions of peoples’ sensitive data. Fines, litigation and media uproar ensued. But perhaps most significant was that our government mandated that the big 3 credit bureaus offer free credit freezes to consumers. Previously, the big 3 would charge you a fee any time you requested a freeze (or a thaw).
A credit freeze, also called a security freeze, can help prevent identity theft. It won’t block fraud committed against your existing accounts, but it can help stop thieves from opening new credit cards or loans in your name.
If you want to freeze or thaw your credit report, here’s where to visit at each of the big 3 credit reporting agencies’ websites:
You may also want to consider obtaining free credit freezes for your children or other people you are responsible for. To learn more, visit any of the 3 freeze links above and read the FAQs!
Equifax offers an app, called Lock & Alert, free for Android and iOS users. This app allow you to “lock and unlock” (similar to a freeze) your credit report anytime you want, from your device. You may find it far easier to use than the Equifax Freeze website above.
Experian also offers its own app, free for Android and iOS users. The app gives you plenty of info about your credit, and if you scroll down far enough, also allows you to manage your credit freeze with them.
I suspect the Transunion app might allow you to manage a freeze with their agency. But I am unable to log into it, without paying for pricey credit monitoring. For now, I recommend you pass on their app and use their website to monitor any freeze with them.