You may obtain a security freeze on your credit report to protect your privacy and ensure that credit is not granted in your name without your knowledge. You have a right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report pursuant to Ohio law. The security freeze will prohibit a consumer credit reporting agency from releasing any information in your credit report without your express authorization or approval. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. When you place a security freeze on your credit report, within five business days you will be provided a personal identification number or password to use if you choose to remove the security freeze on your credit report or to temporarily authorize the release of your credit report for a specific party or parties or for a specific period of time after the security freeze is in place. To provide that authorization, you must contact the consumer credit reporting agency and provide all of the following:
- Information generally considered sufficient to identify the consumer;
- The unique personal identification number or password provided by the consumer credit reporting agency;
- The proper information regarding the third party who is to receive the consumer credit report or the time period for which the credit report shall be available to users of the credit report.
A consumer credit reporting agency that receives a request from a consumer to temporarily lift a security freeze on a credit report shall comply with the request not later than fifteen minutes after receiving the request.
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 own applications for credit. You should plan ahead and lift a freeze, either completely if you are shopping around, or specifically for a certain creditor, a few days before actually applying for new credit.