Credit Freeze Links
UPDATE: In May, Congress passed the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act." This means, beginning in the fall of 2018, credit freezes will be free for everyone at all three credit bureaus (this includes credit freeze removals, temporary lifts, and re-freezes as well). We'll be sure to update you when more information is available.
One of the best ways you can help protect your personal information and identity is to place a "freeze" on your credit with each of the three major credit bureaus. Doing this essentially “locks down” your credit file so a potential hacker cannot open up any new accounts with your information.
If you’re an identity theft victim, a credit freeze should be free if you've submitted a valid police report. If you’re doing it proactively to prevent identity theft, there’s a small fee to place and lift a freeze, and it varies by state:
- Ohio: $5 to place a freeze; $5 to temporarily lift the freeze; $5 to remove the freeze
- Kentucky: $10 to place a freeze; $10 to temporarily lift the freeze; $10 to remove the freeze (these fees may increase on January 1st of each year based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index); Kentucky also automatically removes the freeze after 7 years meaning you'll need to add the freeze again once that time limit is up
- Indiana: Free for all actions
- For other states, use this link
If you decide to place a freeze on your credit, you should place a freeze with all three credit bureaus separately. This means you'll pay the above fee, if applicable to your state, three separate times. The following links will take you directly to each bureau's credit freeze portion of their websites:
Important notes to keep in mind:
- Freezing your credit does not impact your current lines of credit, such as credit cards.
- When you place a freeze you'll be given a PIN. Do not lose this! You'll need it if you ever want to remove or temporarily lift the freeze.
- If a creditor, lender or employer needs to run a credit check, you'll need to temporarily lift the freeze so they can access your credit file.
- If you still need to create a 'My Social Security' account, your credit needs to be unfrozen - that either means you need to temporarily lift a current freeze you have in place and then create your account, or you need to create your account before you place a freeze for the first time. Once you've created your account, you can still access it with a freeze in place.