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You can freeze and unfreeze your credit file by going to each credit bureau (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) and following the steps to temporarily or permanently lift a credit freeze, also referred to as a security freeze.
You may need to lift your credit when applying for loans, credit cards, renting an apartment or taking any other actions that require access to your credit report.
How to Unfreeze Your Credit Report
Just as you have to freeze your credit files with each credit bureau company separately, you also need to unfreeze them with each bureau as well.
You have two options for unfreezing your credit files:
- Schedule a temporary thaw. This allows creditors to check your file for a set length of time, then restores the freeze when the scheduled window ends.
- Remove the freeze permanently. This leaves your files open until you request another credit freeze.
Unfreeze Your Experian Credit Report
To unfreeze your Experian credit report, log in to your Experian account or create one for free. After you log in, you can navigate to the Help Center, where you can find quick actions to manage your freeze and toggle your freeze status to "Unfrozen."
You can also call 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742), or send a request by mail to Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013.
Unfreeze Your TransUnion Credit Report
To unfreeze your TransUnion credit file, you can log in to or create a TransUnion account.
You can also reach TransUnion by phone at 888-909-8872, or mail your request to TransUnion, P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094 with the appropriate documents.
Unfreeze Your Equifax Credit Report
To unfreeze your Equifax credit file, log in to or create a myEquifax account to manage your freeze.
You can also call 888-298-0045 and verify your identity to place a freeze, or send the appropriate forms and documentation to Equifax Information Services LLC, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348-5788.
How Long Does It Take to Unfreeze Your Credit Report?
In most cases, if you make the request online or by phone, the credit bureaus can lift a freeze in near real time. The Federal Trade Commission allows the bureaus up to one hour to complete an online or phone request, while requests by mail must be granted within three days after receipt.
How Much Does It Cost to Unfreeze Your Credit?
The process of unfreezing a credit file is free at all three credit bureaus.
Consider Using Experian CreditLock
An alternative to an Experian security freeze is Experian CreditLock, a feature that lets you lock and unlock your Experian credit file on the fly from the Experian app. With CreditLock, you'll also receive alerts when anyone attempts to access your credit file while it is locked. With an Experian CreditWorksSM or Experian IdentityWorksSM premium membership, consumers can take advantage of CreditLock's features for no additional charge.
Unfreezing Your Credit Is Simple
Online tools—as well as phone and mail-based options are some of the best ways to unfreeze your credit file in a timely, secure manner. Whether you need to temporarily thaw your credit file or permanently unfreeze it, you can work with each bureau to make your report available to external parties when the need arises.