How to Put a Freeze on a Credit Report

By Nicki Howell

  • Overview

    Over 9 million individuals are victims of identity theft each year, which adds up to 52 billion dollars in fraud. One action you can take to stop someone from accessing your credit is placing a freeze on your credit report. Making this request will require you to contact all three credit bureaus including Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, and making a formal request via certified letter.
    • Step 1

      Draft a certified letter to send to the credit bureaus. When drafting your letter include: full legal name, social security number, date of birth and the reason why you would like to freeze your credit. Also, include an effective date for the credit freeze, for example you may request the freeze is effective immediately due to identity theft or fraud.
    • Step 2

      Contact Equifax to freeze your credit. Mail the certified letter and copy of a recent utility bill to Equifax. Send the package to the attention of the Fraud Department, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, Georgia 20238.

    • Step 3

      Contact TransUnion to freeze your credit. Mail the certified letter, copy of your driver's license and your addresses for the past three years to P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton CA 92834. Make the request attention to the Fraud Assistance Department to expedite routing.
    • Step 4

      Contact Experian's Fraud Department to freeze your credit. Mail the certified letter, copy of your driver's license and most recent copy of your electricity or water bill. The documents can be sent to P.O. Box 9554, Allen Texas 75013.
    • Step 5

      Enclose the necessary fees with your request. All three credit bureaus charge a fee of $10 to process your credit freeze. However, if you are the victim of identify theft or other fraudulent activity, this fee will be waived. You will be required to establish your claim by including a police report.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Tip: If you are apprehensive about locking up your credit, place a fraud alert on your credit. This will make it very difficult for individuals to access your credit, but will allow you access if needed. The request can be made by contacting the Nationwide Consumer Credit Reporting Company.
    • Tip: When you need access to your credit, contact each credit bureau individually with a certified letter. Make sure to include the original documentation used to prove your identify. This request can take a couple weeks to process.
    • Warning:
    • If you have transactions in process, such as a home refinance, make sure these are completed before freezing your credit if possible.

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