When you are ready to freeze your credit report, you can contact the credit bureaus to establish a credit freeze by phone or online at the sites and numbers below. I have found that completing the process online is more convenient.
Equifax: Online or by phone at 1-800-685-1111
Experian: Online or by phone at 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion: Online or by phone at 1-888-909-8872
Once you verify your identity and make the request, you’ll receive a PIN. Store the PIN in a safe place. You’ll need this PIN to unfreeze, or thaw, your credit report before you establish new credit accounts. Remember that you need to contact the major credit bureaus individually to freeze and unfreeze your file.
Once your credit is frozen, it’s still smart to request a free credit report at least every 6 months at www.annualcreditreport.com to make sure that everything in your credit file is accurate. Remember that it’s possible for companies to misreport an on-time payment as being late. A credit freeze isn’t a substitute for monitoring your own credit report from time to time.
While the process of freezing your credit is time consuming, take comfort in the fact that you’ll be protecting yourself and your loved ones if you decide to get a credit freeze.