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Topics addressed on July 11, 2007:
File freeze exceptions allow credit card to be re-issued
I have a freeze on my accounts with all three credit report companies, so I want to know how a department store re-issued me a new credit card after obtaining information from Experian?
Most of the state laws allowing you to freeze your credit file have a number of exemptions included in them to accommodate important services that need to continue but would otherwise be prevented by the freeze. One of the common exemptions is to allow businesses with which you have an existing relationship to access your credit reports.
I suspect that is what occurred in your case. Your statement that the credit card was “re-issued” makes me believe you already had a card with the store. Because of that relationship, the store was able to review your credit report as part of its portfolio management process. Subsequently, it issued a new credit card for you.
Other common exemptions include accessing your report for fraud protection purposes and accessing it to provide credit monitoring services to which you subscribe. There are often exemptions for law enforcement purposes, as well.
There may be others depending on your particular state’s law.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team