« Articles « Security « What to Do if You Want to Freeze Your Credit

What to Do if You Want to Freeze Your Credit

If you’re concerned about data breaches and want to place a credit freeze, you’ll need to know how.

by Navy Federal on October 6, 2017 | Tag(s): Security

Share:

In the wake of the massive Equifax® data breach that exposed the personal information of 143 million people, consumers are understandably concerned about what they can do to protect themselves. We recommend placing a credit freeze to help prevent fraudsters from opening new accounts. That’s because a freeze prevents any access to your credit report. Here’s what you need to know.

There are three major credit bureaus:

  • TransUnion®
  • Experian®
  • Equifax

A fourth credit bureau, Innovis®, also gathers consumer data.

Notify All Credit Bureaus

For a freeze to be most effective, you must notify all credit bureaus that you want to freeze your credit. Many states allow you to freeze your minor children’s reports as well. During the process, you’ll create a personal identification number (PIN). This is important because even if fraudsters have your personal information, they won’t be able to unfreeze your credit without this PIN, but you will, if necessary.

The following table explains how to freeze/unfreeze with each credit bureau. You should know that because of the large number of people contacting the credit bureaus, response times may be slower than usual.

Credit Bureau How to Freeze Cost How to Unfreeze Freeze for Minor/ Incapacitated/ Protected Person
TransUnion Online
Call 888-909-8872
Certified mail, return receipt requested to:

TransUnion LLC
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016

Fees to add, lift or remove vary by state Call 888-909-8872
Mail to: (requires ID and other documentation)

TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance
P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19022-2000


You’ll need your PIN, Social Security Number and date of birth.

Those in Colorado must request a “Global Lift.”

Mail to:

TransUnion Protected Consumer Freeze
P.O. Box 380
Woodlyn, PA 19094


Qualifications and required documentation can be found here.

Experian Online
Call 888-397-3742
Certified mail, return receipt requested to:

Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

Varies by state Online
Call 888-397-3742
Certified mail, return receipt requested to:

Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013


You’ll need your PIN, Social Security Number and date of birth.

Grant a creditor a one-time use to credit file.

Documentation and other requirements can be found here.

Mail to:

Experian
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013


Form and more information, including fees and requirements, available here.

Equifax Online
Certified mail, return receipt requested to:

Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348

Varies by state Request with PIN:
Online

Temporary Lift
Call 800-685-1111 (NY residents: 800-349-9960)

Mail to:

Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348


Requirements and other information available here.

Submit in writing to:
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348


For more information, visit this page.

Innovis Online
Call 800-540-2505
Mail form to:

Innovis Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 26
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0026

Walk in:

875 Greentree Road, 8 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15220

There is no charge for the addition, temporary lift or removal of a Security Freeze. See Learning Center page.

Online
Call 800-540-2505
Mail form to:

Innovis Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 26
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0026

Walk in:

875 Greentree Road, 8 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15220

Information on requests and requirements available here.

Please note that if you need to apply for credit, you’ll need to temporarily lift your credit freeze, which may include a cost and can take up to three days.

Costs

Costs to add, lift or remove a freeze vary by state and range between $0 and $10 for each credit bureau and for each type of transaction. Credit bureau TransUnion published a handy by-state table so consumers can see at a glance what costs are for their states.

Other Steps for Protection

There are other things you should still do to provide protection:

  • Check your credit report. You can get a free report from all the credit bureaus every year without affecting your score. For the three major credit bureaus, you must get your free report at annualcreditreport.com. For Innovis, you can submit a request online, call 800-540-2505 or mail a Credit Report Request Form to:

    Innovis
    Attn: Consumer Assistance
    P.O. Box 1689
    Pittsburgh, PA 15230-1689
  • Monitor your financial accounts. If you see charges or accounts that aren’t yours, contact your bank or credit card company immediately.
  • Consider a credit monitoring service.

Navy Federal Can Help

Visit Navy Federal’s Security Center to learn about other ways you can protect yourself and keep your personal information secure.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.