I recently spoke with a client and they asked whether they should freeze their credit. They just purchased a new home and didn’t expect any major purchases in the next few years that would require credit. The answer I gave them is the same advice I would give to everybody – yes, I would definitely recommend freezing your credit!
Why Freeze Your Credit?
It’s currently estimated that cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021(1). It feels like every week there’s news of a new data breach where hackers try to get our personal information. By freezing your credit, it will protect your credit and not allow somebody to open an account in your name. It’s as simple as that.
Adding a freeze to your credit will not affect your credit score and in NC, there’s no cost. In some states there is a cost but you’ll be aware of that before it occurs. From my perspective, a small fee like $10 is well worth the peace of mind.
Credit freezes are not perfect and are not always 100% effective, but they’re the first step to protecting your credit.
How Do I Freeze My Credit?
You will need to freeze your credit with all three of the major credit bureaus to be as protected as possible. Here are links to their websites that will walk you through adding a freeze:
- Experian – Security Freeze
- Equifax –Personal Credit Report Services Security Freeze
- TransUnion –Credit Freeze
When you’re ready to make your next major purchase and need access to your credit, you will go back to each of these companies and temporarily lift your credit for a few days. It can seem a bit daunting, but it only takes a few minutes to lift your credit.
This is an easy step to protect yourself from cybersecurity so we highly recommend setting it up.