Credit Freeze How To

I wrote this for friends and family, but I am posting it here in hopes that it will help someone else as well.

As you know Equifax has been hacked recently and everyone’s identity was stolen by hackers. A good first step to protect yourself is to freeze your credit history. To learn more about the credit history freeze you can read this informative article by Brian Krebs.

To check if your information has been stolen in the Equifax hack you can go to this page and enter your last name and last 6 digits of your social security number. After you click “Continue” the page will tell you if your information was compromised or not. It will also try to sell you on their credit protection program. DO NOT click on anything else and close the page.

Online Process

To freeze your credit history the first step is to try the online process. Below there are 4 links to the 4 major credit reporting agencies. Yes, you have to do all 4 of them individually. Innovis is really fast and easy, you should have no problems with them. Equifax is easy as well, but their website is down on occasion. If it doesn’t load for you at first, try a few times during different times of the day. TransUnion and Experian are pretty hopeless. Try the online process anyway, but if that fails, proceed to step 2, file the freeze request by mail.

Snail Mail Process

If the online process fails, file the request by mail. Attached you will find a Word Form with 2 pages, one for Experian and the other for TransUnion. Complete all of the fields indicated with curly parenthesis ({}), and attach to the form a copy of a government issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, and a copy of a bank statement or utility bill with your current address on it. Because of the sheer inaptitude of our federal government it is NOT illegal for these companies to charge you a fee to freeze your own credit history, and as a result they charge the maximum fees permissible by the state. In California and Illinois the fee is $10. Make out a check to the credit agency and attach it to the form as well. You can find fees for other states here.

Send in the form by registered mail to assure delivery to the following addresses:

P.O. Box 2000,
Chester PA 19016


Experian Security Freeze
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

During this process you will be mailed or given online PIN numbers for your credit freeze. Each agency is going to give you a unique PIN. After you are done, you should have 4 individual PINs, one for each agency. DO NOT LOSE these PINs!!! You will need them to unfreeze your credit.

Good Luck!

Snail Mail Form

Re: Security Freeze

I would like to place a security freeze on my credit report.

Name:             {Full Name}

Current address:  {Street Address}
                  {City, State ZIP}

Former addresses: {Leave blank if same for last 5 years}

Date of Birth:    {mm-dd-yyyy}

SSN:              {xxx-xx-xxxx}

Drivers License:  {State and Driver License Number}

Attached to this letter are the following documents and payment instruments:

1. Copy of my {United States Passport OR Driver License OR Other Gov. ID}.

2. Copy of the first page of my {Bank Statement or Utility Bill}.

3. Check for $10 to process this credit freeze.

Please contact me by mail at my current address or by phone at {phone number} if you have any further questions.

- {Name}