New York Consumers Have the Right to Obtain a Security Freeze
You have a right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer credit reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report without your express authorization. A security freeze must be requested in writing, delivery confirmation requested or via telephone, secure electronic means, or other methods developed by the consumer credit reporting agency. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, government services or payments, insurance, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular phone, utilities, digital signature, internet credit card transaction, or other services, including an extension of credit at point of sale. When you place a security freeze on your credit report, you will be provided a personal identification number or password to use if you choose to remove the freeze on your credit report or authorize the release of your credit report to a specific party or for a period of time after the freeze is in place. To provide that authorization you must contact the consumer credit reporting agency and provide all of the following:
- the personal identification number or password;
- proper identification to verify your identity;
- the proper information regarding the party or parties who are to receive the credit report or the period of time for which the report shall be available to users of the credit report; and
- payment of any applicable fee.
A consumer credit reporting agency that receives a request via telephone or secure electronic method shall release a consumer’s credit report within fifteen minutes when the request is received.
A security freeze does not apply to circumstances in which you have an existing account relationship and a copy of your report is requested by your existing creditor or its agents or affiliates for certain types of account review, collection, fraud control or similar activities.
If you are actively seeking credit, you should understand that the procedures involved in lifting a security freeze may slow your application for credit. You should plan ahead and lift a freeze, either completely if you are shopping around, or specifically for a certain creditor, before applying for new credit. When seeking credit or pursuing another transaction requiring access to your credit report, it is not necessary to relinquish your pin or password to the creditor or business; you can contact the consumer credit reporting agency directly. If you choose to give out your pin or password to the creditor or business, it is recommended that you obtain a new pin or password from the consumer credit reporting agency.
How to request a security freeze
Requests for a security freeze should be submitted by logging on to www.experian.com/freeze, calling 1 888 EXPERIAN (1 888 397 3742) or via certified or overnight mail to Experian, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013 (overnight delivery also may be made to Experian, 711 Experian Parkway, Allen, TX 75013)
Be sure to include the following information:
- Your full name including middle initial (and generation such as JR, SR, II, III)
- Social Security number
- Complete addresses for the past two years
- Date of birth
- One copy of a government issued identification card, such as a driver’s license, state ID card, etc.
- One copy of a utility bill, bank or insurance statement, etc.
Make sure that each copy is legible and displays your name and current mailing address and the date of issue (statement dates must be recent). We are unable to accept credit card statements, voided checks, lease agreements, magazine subscriptions or postal service forwarding orders as proof. To protect your personal information, Experian does not return correspondence sent to us. Send copies of any documents you wish to provide to us and always retain your original documents.
We will send you a confirmation notice once the security freeze has been added, and you will be given a personal identification number that will be required in order to remove the freeze temporarily (in order to apply for credit or for any transaction that requires that another party access your personal credit report) or permanently. If you are a victim of identity theft, submit a copy of the police report or a signed copy of a Federal Trade Commission ID theft victim’s affidavit.
If you would like to create a single-use personal identification number to be used by a certain credit grantor, log on to www.experian.com/freeze.
If you move to a new address and wish to keep the security freeze on your file, submit your request in writing and include all of your personal identification information and proof of your new address as specified in this letter.
How to temporarily remove a security freeze
To temporarily remove a security freeze for a period of time in order to apply for credit or for any transaction that requires that another party access your personal credit report, you may log on to www.experian.com/freeze or call 1 888 EXPERIAN (1 888 397 3742), then enter your identification information and personal identification number. The fee for temporarily removing a security freeze is $5.44 (includes tax). There is no fee for victims of identity theft who provide a valid copy of an identity theft report filed with a law enforcement agency. To temporarily remove a security freeze for a specific party, provide your personal identification number to the party you wish to grant access to your credit report.
How to permanently remove a security freeze
To permanently remove a security freeze, log on to www.experian.com/freeze or call 1 888 EXPERIAN (1 888 397 3742). You also may send the request with all the identification information listed above to: Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013. You also must include your personal identification number. The fee for permanently removing a security freeze is $5.44 (includes tax). There is no fee for victims of identity theft who provide a valid copy of an identity theft report filed with a law enforcement agency.
In addition, a protected consumer according to New York state law is a consumer under 16 years of age at the time of the request.
To request a security freeze for a protected consumer in your care, submit all of the above information for both you and the protected consumer.
Please include a copy of the minor’s birth certificate and a copy of the minor’s Social Security card. Once we have received your request and all of the required information for both you and the minor, a freeze will be placed on the minor’s credit file. If a credit file for the minor does not currently exist, a file for the minor will be created. Experian does not knowingly maintain credit information on minors. If you are the minor’s guardian, be sure to include a copy of the operator’s license, court document naming you as the guardian or other appropriate court appointed documents.
If the protected consumer has been appointed a guardian or conservator, please include a signed court document indicating conservatorship or guardianship, or a lawfully executed and valid power of attorney, or a written notarized statement signed by the representative that expressly describes the authority of the representative to act on behalf of the protected consumer.
If a file must be created for the protected consumer, the fee to place or remove a security freeze is $10.
In order for a protected consumer to remove a security freeze, the protected consumer must provide proof that a representative no longer has authority over the protected person and that they have reached the age of 16.
Once all of the required information is received, we will place or remove a security freeze on the protected consumer’s credit file within 30 days.
Acceptable forms of payment to place or remove a security freeze are credit card, check and money order. If you submit your credit card information by mail, be sure to include the name exactly as it is displayed on the card, the credit card type, the credit card number and the expiration date. Accepted credit cards are American Express, Discover, MasterCard and VISA.