You have a right to include a “security freeze” with your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report in connection with a credit transaction without your express authorization. A security freeze must be requested in writing by certified mail or by any other means provided by a consumer reporting agency. The security freeze is designed to prevent an extension of credit, such as a loan, 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 loan, credit, mortgage, or Internet credit card transaction, including an extension of credit at point of sale.
When you request a security freeze for your credit report, you will be provided a personal identification number or password to use if you choose to remove the security freeze from your credit report or authorize the release of your credit report for a period of time after the security freeze is in place. To provide that authorization you must contact the consumer reporting agency and provide all of the following:
- The personal identification number or password.
- Proper identification to verify your identity.
- The period of time for which the report shall be made available.
- Payment of the appropriate fee.
A security freeze does not apply to a person or its affiliates, or collection agencies acting on behalf of a person, with which you have an existing account, that requests information in your credit report for the purposes of reviewing or collecting the account. Reviewing the account includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases, and account upgrades and enhancements.
Unless you are a victim of identity theft with a police report to verify the crime, a consumer reporting agency has the right to charge you no more than $10 to include a security freeze with your credit report, no more than $10 to authorize release of a report that includes a security freeze, and no more than $10 to remove a security freeze from your credit report.
Additional rights under your state’s law, which are also in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, are explained in the enclosed Summary of Your Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.