Fraud Alert

Cancelling 7-year Fraud Alert to Qualify for Housing Program

Dear Experian,

How do I cancel a 7-year fraud alert once I create it? I am in the process of looking for new housing and believe I would have to rather quickly cancel the fraud alert once it is created if I hear that low income housing programs are in the process of checking my credit. I would not want this fraud alert to have a negative effect on my credit status.


Dear SRV,

A 7-year fraud alert, also called an extended security alert, does not have a negative effect on your credit report, and will not prevent someone you are doing business with from checking your report. However, it may slow down the application process while the lender takes additional steps to verify your identity.

Companies have different policies for handling applications with fraud alerts. For example, you may be asked to provide additional proof of your identity before your application is approved. For this reason, most businesses will not extend instant credit when a fraud alert is on your credit report.

It may be a good idea to notify the company that you have a fraud alert before you apply. Inquire as to what, if any, additional information they will need to process you application as efficiently as possible.

If you later wish to remove the alert, you will need to submit your request in writing, along with two proof-of-identity documents, such as copies of your driver's license and bank statement. Never submit original documents.

This process is in place to protect you from an identity thief requesting the alert be removed in order to obtain credit in your name.

More information on fraud and fraud alerts can be found online at Fraud Center.

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team