Know About Credit Freezes
March 5, 2018
In light of recent large-scale data breaches, it is more important than ever to know the steps to take to protect your identity. That includes understanding the different alerts and freezes you can request from the major credit reporting agencies.
In Ohio, you can place a credit freeze on your credit report with any or all three major credit reporting agencies. Parents also can freeze their child’s credit record to help guard against child identity theft.
A credit freeze essentially puts a lock on your credit, so new creditors can’t access your reports. This helps protect you from unauthorized accounts being opened in your name. A credit freeze does not block unauthorized charges to your existing credit cards, so it’s still vital to closely review your account statements. Existing creditors – and debt collectors working on their behalf – can still access your credit reports.
Placing a credit freeze on your account also entitles you to one additional free credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies from which you have requested a freeze.
You do not have to be a victim of identity theft to institute a credit freeze, and a freeze will not impact your credit score.
In Ohio, security freezes are permanent until you lift them. You can be charged a $5 fee per credit reporting agency to place or remove a freeze. This fee is waived for victims of identity theft. To freeze your report you must contact each credit reporting agency individually.