Breaches are never ending, and if you have not already put freezes on your credit reports, make a late New Year’s resolution and do it now. There are a couple of steps you will need to take for each of the four bureaus (yes four).

Credit Cards, by Andres Rueda

Before you freeze, get in a habit of requesting your report annually. Some bureaus partner with apps you can use as well (such as Credit Karma, Credit Sesame) that are free to download and set up. You want to make sure nobody opened a line of credit in your name without you knowing.

One thing you need to know about freezing your credit report is anytime you take an action that requires a hard inquiry, you will have to temporarily unfreeze the report at the credit bureau the company you are working with uses. So if I apply for a new credit card, I need to ask the bank which bureau they use (such as, Experian) so I can unfreeze it for the day. Just remember that when you apply for something and it denies you because it can’t get your credit report.

On to the instructions! There are four bureaus and you need to freeze both your report and your spouse/partner/parent/child at each one. If you are asked to create an account, be sure you are using a unique password and storing that in your password manager (with a PIN as well if it asks for one).

  • Experian Freeze <— Sign up for an account and freeze.
  • TransUnion <— Add a freeze.
  • Equifax <— Place a security freeze.
  • Innovis <— the credit bureau everyone forgets. Request security freeze.

There ya go! I actually thought I wrote this blog post years ago. Better late than never!

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