Legislation guaranteeing free credit freezes is now the law of the land! Sure, it was your busy life, not the $5-$10 charge, that was the real impediment, but let’s take this moment as an important reminder to take action now.
The legislation, passed earlier this year, eliminates charges nationwide on both credit freezes and lifting – or “thawing” – a freeze. The major credit rating agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) are all in compliance as of this fall.
Why it matters:
Equifax came under fire last year for a massive data breach that revealed just how vulnerable our personal information really is. If your personal data falls into the wrong hands, a credit freeze can prevent it from being used maliciously. What the freeze does, in essence, is restrict the ability of identity thieves from opening fraudulent accounts or lines of credit in your name. They can’t open those accounts because the institutions aren’t openly permitted to check your credit. And without checking your credit, they won’t open the accounts. So once your credit if frozen you control that process with a special code, which the hackers won’t have.
Links to freeze your credit at each major rating agency can be found here.