After the Equifax data breach where thieves stole the Social Security numbers and personal info of 143 million Americans, many people are considering credit freezes to lock down their credit reports.
But some folks ask: “Why should I have to PAY for a credit freeze just because Equifax got hacked? Well, actually, you don’t.
ALL identity theft victims can get a FREE credit freeze.
There is NO charge for an initial credit freeze for victims of ID theft. Not from ANY state in the country, nor from ANY of the 3 main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
And what about unfreezing your credit reports or temporarily lifting a credit freeze when you want to apply for credit or a loan?
MOST states let you do that FREE also. A few states charge fees; they range from $3 to $10.
But when it comes to PLACING the initial credit freeze, which I strongly suggest now for ID theft victims, it’s 100% FREE.
Furthermore, the states below permit ALL residents – including NON-VICTIMS of ID theft – to get at least one FREE credit freeze:
• Colorado (the first freeze is free; subsequent freezes are $10)
• New Jersey
• New York (the first freeze is free; subsequent freezes are $5)
• North Carolina (it’s free online; $3 for mail & phone requests)
• South Carolina
Finally, many other people can obtain FREE credit freezes, but it depends on the state in which you live.
Some states also allow FREE credit freezes for people in various categories, such as:
• victims of domestic abuse
• residents age 62 or age 65 and older (many states)
• minors or “protected” consumers under age 16
• incapacitated or disabled persons
• active duty military (Illinois)
• spouses of ID theft victims
• anyone covered under the health insurance police of an ID theft victim (CT)
You can get more details on state-by-state fees for credit freezes, directly from the credit bureaus. Here are the links to each:
Also, here is an article I recently wrote on how to protect your credit after the Equifax data breach, with detailed tips on exactly how to use credit alerts and credit freezes.
Please share this info because there is so much misinformation out there and many people aren’t going to take the time to get a credit freeze simply because they don’t want to pay for it.
But many individuals (namely those who are ID theft victims) don’t realize that they likely don’t have to spend money at all.