How can I get a credit freeze on my report?
You can request a security freeze be added to your credit report at Experian's online Freeze Center, by phone at 1 888 EXPERIAN (1 888 397 3742), or by mail to Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013.
Fees and requirements for adding or removing a freeze vary by state. Be sure to know your state's specific requirements before deciding to freeze your report. You can find state-specific information at Experian's Freeze Center.
Security Freeze vs. Fraud Alert
People sometimes confuse a security freeze with a fraud alert. While a fraud alert notifies lenders that you may be a victim of identity theft, freezing your credit file prevents potential new lenders from accessing your credit report without the freeze first being lifted by you.
How to Unfreeze Your Credit Report
When you freeze your credit report, you are given a PIN, or personal identification number. Before applying for credit, you would first need to lift your freeze using the PIN. If you do not remember your PIN, you may still remove a security freeze by answering a few questions verifying your identity.
Should You Freeze Your Credit Report?
Freezing a file is an extreme step that often proves more inconvenient than protective. Depending on your situation, requesting an initial security alert may be sufficient. The alert warns lenders that you are at risk of fraud and ask that they take action to verify your identity before granting credit in your name.
If you are planning to apply for credit in the near future it may be better to not freeze your credit file, or to postpone freezing it until you no longer need access to the credit marketplace.
Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team