A credit freeze and a credit lock are similar services that prevent potential lenders from accessing your credit file without your consent. Although both options are similar in that they both restrict access your credit report, the major difference between a credit freeze and credit lock are the method used for freezing or locking your credit report and the cost.
Federal law allows you to request a credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, at no cost. A security freeze is designed to restrict access to your credit report and help protect you from credit fraud resulting from identity theft.
When you place a security freeze on your report, you will be provided a personal identification number (PIN) or password. Before lenders can get access to your credit report, you will need to lift the freeze using the PIN given to you. There is no fee to freeze and unfreeze your file.
Keep in mind that security freezes need to be initiated at each of the three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. To request your free Experian security freeze, visit Experian's Freeze Center or call 1 888 EXPERIAN (1 888 397 3742) and provide the required information.
A credit lock operates similarly to a credit freeze in terms of restricting access to your credit report.
The Experian CreditLock is part of Experian's CreditWorks and IdentityWorks products. The CreditLock service allows you to lock and unlock your Experian credit report in real time, without having to remember a PIN and using your mobile device. CreditWorks also provides you your Experian credit report, a FICO® score, Dark Web monitoring, and daily monitoring of your credit report, which sends alerts about any new activity, including new account openings.
It's important to remember that CreditLock only locks your Experian credit report. To protect your credit, you need to lock your report with all three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
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Scoped on: 2/05/2019
*Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more.