How to Freeze a Credit Report

By Nicki Howell

  • Overview

    Many people who are victims of identify theft decide to freeze their credit. Freezing your credit will make it impossible for anyone to access your account. To achieve this, you must contact each of the three credit bureaus to make the request. If can often take a couple weeks to process that request.
    • Step 1

      Send Experian a certified letter. Experian requires that you include your legal name, all addresses for the past three years and your Social Security number. Also, make sure to include a copy of your driver's license and a recent utility bill to prove your identity. Mail the letter to P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013.
    • Step 2

      Send a certified letter to Equifax. Send the letter to P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348. Make sure to include your legal name, Social Security number and date of birth. You will also need to include a copy of a recent utility bill. Make sure to attach a police report if you're the victim of identity theft.

    • Step 3

      Contact the Fraud Victim Assistance Department at TransUnion. Mail a certified letter to P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834. Include your address, legal name and Social Security number. Also make a copy of your driver's license.
    • Step 4

      Determine if you need to include a fee. All three credit bureaus charge a processing fee of $10 to freeze credit. But if you are the victim of identify theft, this fee is waived. Make sure to include a police report to establish your claim.
    • Step 5

      Unfreeze your credit if you need access. You will need to send a certified letter to each credit bureau with the supporting documentation you provided in the original request.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Tip: If you're not the victim of identity theft, consider placing a fraud alert on your account. This will make it harder for someone who isn't you to obtain credit, but you can still access your credit. Contact Nationwide Consumer Credit Reporting Company to initiate the fraud alert.
    • Warning:
    • Understand that freezing your credit will cut off your access to your credit. It may take a couple of weeks to regain access to your credit.

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