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One Measure to Protect Your Credit Report

In the wake of the hack of one of the largest credit reporting agencies, consumers may want to consider "freezing" their credit report. This article gives three ways to contact credit reporting agencies to establish a Credit Freeze.

 

CHICKASHA, Okla. - Credit experts have recommend for some time that consumers freeze their credit to reduce their risk of becoming an identity theft victim. This action can be done individually with each of the “Big Three” credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), plus some experts also recommend doing a freeze with a lesser-known credit reporting agency called Innovis to “cover all the bases.”

 

That means making four separate freeze requests per person or eight requests for a couple.

 

What is a Credit Freeze?  By freezing your credit, you prevent potential creditors from accessing your credit file, thereby preventing identity thieves from opening accounts in your name. However, credit freezes will not deter non-credit related frauds such as “tax refund” identity theft or health insurance fraud. For that, consumers are simply told to “be vigilant.”

 

Credit freeze requests can be made online, by phone, or by certified U.S. mail. Expect to devote some time to this task. Below is contact information for each credit reporting agency for each method of contact to request a credit freeze:

 

Online

Telephone

  • Equifax: (800) 685-1111
  • Experian: (888) 397-3742
  • TransUnion: (888) 909-8872
  • Innovis: (800) 540-2505

 

U.S. Mail

  • Equifax: Equifax Security Freeze, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348
  • Experian: Experian, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013
  • TransUnion: TransUnion LLC, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016
  • Innovis: Innovis Customer Assistance, P.O. Box 26, Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0026

 

The costs of security freezes vary from state to state. Fees may or may not be charged to add a credit freeze. Charges may or may not be applied if a consumer wants to temporarily lift or “thaw” a credit freeze for instance, when you need to apply for a loan or remove a credit freeze. Different fees for credit freezes may also apply depending on whether someone is or is not a victim of identity theft.

 

For more information about managing consumer credit, contact Grady County OSU Cooperative Extension Service at (405) 224-2216. We are located at 828 W. Choctaw in Chickasha.

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