What Is the Best Way to Get a Credit Freeze Removed?

What Is the Best Way to Get a Credit Freeze Removed? article image.

The quickest and easiest way to remove (or "thaw") a credit freeze is to contact each credit bureau online or by phone. If you've frozen your credit at all three national bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), you'll need to thaw it at each bureau separately.

How to Unfreeze Your Credit

If you've frozen your Experian credit file, you can visit Experian's Security Freeze Center to lift your credit freeze.

You also can call 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742) or contact Experian by mail to lift the freeze from your credit report. If you've frozen your credit file with other bureaus, you'll need to contact them directly to complete a similar process.

Is It a Good Idea to Permanently Unfreeze Your Credit?

It's necessary to unfreeze your credit reports anytime you want to enable someone to run a credit check on you—such as when you apply for a loan or credit or fill out a rental application with a landlord. It's quick and easy to remove a freeze altogether, and your decision whether to do so or not largely depends on why you put a credit freeze in place to begin with.

If you froze your credit purely as a precaution, or because you knew there would be an extended stretch of time when you would not be applying for credit or otherwise needing to grant access to your credit reports, then it's probably fine to lift the freeze permanently. If you applied a freeze because you knew or strongly suspected your Social Security number or other personal information had been stolen or misused, then it might make more sense to make your credit thaw temporary rather than permanent.

When you log in to your Experian account from the Experian Security Freeze Center webpage, call the Experian automated phone system, or use the equivalent resources at the other bureaus, you'll be given several options, including removing the freeze permanently or suspending it temporarily.

If you are shopping for credit and submitting applications to multiple lenders, you can lift the credit freeze for a specific number of days to give all the creditors a chance to check your credit report. Since you likely cannot know which credit bureau or bureaus a given lender uses for its credit checks, it's wise to unfreeze your credit reports at all three bureaus when shopping for credit.

When you unfreeze your credit with the toggle option in your Experian account, your credit file becomes accessible immediately. If you submit a request by mail, the freeze must be lifted within three business days of receiving the request.

Removing a credit freeze, temporarily or for good, is easy. With access to your Experian account online, you'll be able to thaw your credit quickly whenever you need to.

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To submit a dispute online visit Experian's Dispute Center. If you have a current copy of your personal credit report, simply enter the report number where indicated, and follow the instructions provided. If you do not have a current personal report, Experian will provide a free copy when you submit the information requested. Additionally, you may obtain a free copy of your report once a week through December 31, 2022 at AnnualCreditReport.