Placing A Credit Freeze On Your Credit Report
On August 1, 2008, a credit freeze bill went into effect that provides Georgia consumers with the ability to place a freeze on their credit file for only $3, or a total of $9 for each of the three major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The freeze is free for senior citizens 65 and older and for victims of identity theft. Each temporary lift of the freeze - commonly called a thaw - to allow access to the consumer's credit file would also cost $3. When a consumer requests such a thaw, it should be available electronically within 15 minutes of request by the consumer, keeping on-the-spot credit an option for shoppers.
When a freeze is in place, credit reporting agencies may not release the consumer's credit file unless the consumer first removes the freeze by providing the consumer's password to the credit agency used by the merchant. Most lenders and creditors rely on access to a consumer's credit file to determine a consumer's credit worthiness. By denying such access, a credit freeze makes it very difficult for an identity thief to open a credit account or loan in a victim's name.
Insurance companies, existing creditors and law enforcement agencies retain the ability to access credit reports in certain instances.
To place a credit freeze on your file, consumers must contact the credit reporting agencies at the addresses below:
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
Or by going to: https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp
Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
Or by going to: https://www.experian.com/freeze
TransUnion Security Freeze
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Or by going to: http://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze/place-credit-freeze
Written requests must contain the following:
- Full name (and former name if applicable).
- Current Address and former address if it changed in the last 5 years.
- Social Security number.
- Date of birth.
- Photocopy of a driver's license, state ID card or other government-issued identification.
- Proof of current residence, such as a copy of a phone or utility bill.
- If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report; investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft.
- If you are not 65 years of age or older or a victim of identity theft, include payment by check, money order or credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover cards only). Do not send cash in the mail.