It’s been awhile since I made a video, and I’m super excited to come back with ones that involves my preggo belly and a blowtorch. My job rocks!
What’s the best way to prevent identity theft? It’s not what you think!
Forget hours of shredding mounds of paper and fears about mailing letters from your mailbox…what’s my secret? Freeze your credit!
Contact the three major credit card bureaus:
How can I freeze my credit?
- Over the Phone
- Snail Mail
Freezing your credit only costs a $3-$12 flat fee! This is much less than credit card monitoring which can be up to a $25 monthly fee!
Now if you’ve had your identity stolen, chances are freezing your credit is free. So what’s so great about this? When you freeze your credit the three bureaus can’t legally release your information to anyone without express authorization. So, scammers that try to take out a loan or open in a credit card in your name…WHAM! No dice!
When you freeze your account you are sealing your credit reports and you can use a personal identification number (PIN…like with a debit card) that only you know and can use to temporarily unfreeze or “thaw” your credit so that legitimate application for credit and services can access your files and be processed. Basically, even if a thief were able to obtain your ID they would not be able to open an account in your name…sweet deal!
Freezing your credit card will not impact your existing credit card, You continue to use your cards as you would normally, they are now just more protected.
Just remember to put freeze on at all three credit card bureaus, otherwise thieves could find a loophole. If you’re about to apply for a car loan or mortgage you’ll need to unfreeze your credit. You also shouldn’t freeze your credit if your credit reports are needed often for work or if you created new accounts on a various basis. Since you have to pay a fee to “thaw” your account this wouldn’t be your best option.
If you need to “thaw” your credit you have two options for a temporary lift.
- Request a temporary lift for a specific credit grantor.
- Request a date range lift for a specific period of time. The amount of time can be anywhere from one day to one year.