Credit Advice » Fraud and Identity Theft » Security Freeze

Security Freeze

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of identity theft, you may choose to place a security freeze on your credit report to minimize the damage. Before you take this step, it’s important to understand how security freezes work, and what they can and cannot do to help protect your credit.

How a Security Freeze Works

A security freeze prevents anyone but you from viewing your credit report. Not all states offer security freezes, so check the rules in your state before requesting one. Freezing your credit report means no one can access it or make changes to it. For example, if you apply for an auto loan, the lender won’t be able to check your credit until you unfreeze your account.

Lifting a Security Freeze

When you place a security freeze on your account, you are issued a personal identification number (PIN) that will allow you to lift the security freeze at a later date by visiting Experian’s Freeze Center.

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July 17, 2016

Dear Experian, If I have thawed my credit, how long before I can apply for credit and it will be accessible? - SME

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July 25, 2015

Dear Experian, How do I lift my freeze in your company? - GSN

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February 6, 2015

Dear Experian, I just lost my driver's license and am considering putting a security freeze on my credit files. Would placing a freeze on my credit files interfere with me...

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March 13, 2014

Dear Experian, I need to lift the security freeze for 24 hours to buy a car. How do I do that? - PDT

Security Freeze is Not Shared Among Credit Reporting Agencies

December 18, 2013

Dear Experian, Does placing a security freeze at one credit agency extend to all three credit agencies like a fraud alert? - SCB

Who is Notified When Your Credit File is Frozen

September 10, 2013

Dear Experian, I have a credit freeze. If someone tries to establish credit without my pin code, what is the exact response they get from you? Do you tell them...

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September 10, 2013

Dear Experian, We have frozen our credit with you. We just received a letter from you saying that there has been a change in the name, Social Security number, or...

Each Spouse’s Credit File Must be Frozen Separately

August 28, 2013

Dear Experian, My credit report is frozen. Most of my accounts are joint with my wife. Is my wife's report automatically frozen as well, or do I have to freeze...

Replacing a Lost Security Freeze PIN Number

May 22, 2013

Dear Experian, I placed a security freeze on my account and have misplaced the PIN needed to temporarily remove the freeze. How do I get a replacement PIN? - MCH

How to Add a Security Freeze to Your Credit File

October 24, 2012

Dear Experian, How can I get a credit freeze on my report? -FSG

Lifting a Credit Freeze to Apply for Credit

October 10, 2012

Dear Experian, I do not want to lift my security freeze but want to apply for a new credit card. Is that possible to do without lifting the freeze? -HPD