Unfreezing Your Credit by Removing a Security Credit Freeze – Equifax, Experian, TransUnion

Broken security lock with pile of credit cards on keyboardWith all the buzz around massive data breaches and identity theft, many consumers have made the smart choice to take various degrees of security measures as it relates to their credit reports. One such tool is a security freeze, which gives notice to any creditor attempting to view one’s credit information for the purpose of getting a new loan, credit card, or another credit account. With a security freeze in place, new creditors are required to stop an application in its tracks since verification of past payment history, other credit accounts, and other relevant details necessary for approving a new account cannot be done. While a security freeze is a long-term tactic in safeguarding your credit from bad actors, there are times when it needs to be accessed. Here’s how to unfreeze your credit by removing a credit freeze.

When to Lift a Credit Freeze

Before going into the specifics of how to remove a credit freeze, it may be helpful to know when you should take this step. An evaluation of your past and present financial life is needed for so many things these days, including getting a new job, applying for a car or personal loan, and even putting utilities in your name. If you are about to apply for new credit, start a new gig, or move, removing a security freeze from your credit report with all three credit bureaus is a must.

How to Do It

In most states, a credit report freeze is in place until you request it be removed. You have two options for removing a credit freeze: either a temporary lift or removing it altogether. If you have a specific reason for removing a credit freeze, like those mentioned above, a temporary lift may be the smarter option. The credit bureaus have three days to remove a freeze after you’ve submitted your request, and it may cost money to have a freeze temporarily removed. With each credit agency, the process differs slightly.

With Equifax

Through Equifax, you have the option to request a temporary security freeze removal that is either specific to a certain creditor or a general removal that applies for a set period, ranging from one day to one year. Through a simple online process, you can submit your request through this link, or if you prefer, you can call Equifax at 1-800-685-1111. A security freeze removal may also be requested in writing and sent to the following address:

Equifax Security Freeze
PO Box 105788
Atlanta GA 30348

If the request is submitted in writing, you will need to provide your full name, current address, social security number, date of birth, and applicable payment. Proof of identification, like a copy of your driver’s license, is also required. Through the online or call methods, you will need to provide your security freeze PIN. Check the process for retrieving your PIN if you’ve misplaced that information.

With Experian

Through Experian, lifting a credit freeze is available either temporarily for a set period or a specific creditor. The easiest way to remove a credit freeze is to visit Experian’s Freeze Center and request it there, with your PIN. You may also call Experian to request a security freeze removal at 1-888-397-3742 or by mail at the following address:

Experian Security Freeze
PO Box 9554
Allen TX 75013

Like Equifax, Experian requires you to provide your personal information if you make a removal request in writing, including your PIN, date of birth, social security number, address, and full name.

With TransUnion

TransUnion also offers temporary or permanent credit freeze removal, and the simplest way to request it is through its online platform found here. Individuals may also call TransUnion at 1-888-909-8872 to request a security freeze removal by phone, or send the request in writing to the following address:

TransUnion Security Freeze
PO Box 2000
Chester PA 19022

Request made in writing, on the phone, or through the online system all require you to know your PIN. If you’re submitting your request in writing, make sure to include your personal details, your PIN, and proof of your identity.

Posted on October 26, 2017 by in Credit Monitoring

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