To freeze or not to freeze…
We’ve had a few questions recently around freezing credit, so we thought it best to share some great steps you can take to protect yourself!
Essentially, freezing credit helps protect you from having identity thieves open credit accounts in your name.
Once your credit is frozen, the credit reporting agencies cannot disclose contents of your credit report to anyone. Lenders will not extend credit to you, or anyone claiming to be you.
It’s super easy to freeze credit. There are three credit bureaus you will need to contact. You can easily do online or call, I did mine online. There is no charge to freeze your credit and it doesn’t affect your credit score. Go to:
Once you freeze your credit, they will give you a PIN number. Be sure to print this out and keep in a safe place. You will need this PIN to unfreeze your credit. If you lose this PIN, you can always call the credit bureaus and they’ll ask you a bazillion questions to unfreeze.
If you ever need to refinance your mortgage, or open new credit of any type, you can unfreeze by going to these same links and unfreezing for a period of time. You’re given a few choices- 30 days, etc.
One caveat to note- if you’re out shopping and decide to buy something that requires they pull new credit (new credit card, car, etc.) you would need to unfreeze your credit before doing so. Super easy to do with your PIN number. This may help with impulse shopping! Freezing your credit does not affect your ability to use your current credit cards.
On an annual basis, you can go to www.annualcreditreport.com and pull your credit for free, without an inquiry ding. They will charge a small fee if you want your credit scores. This allows you to monitor your credit report for any activity and confirm everything being reported is accurate.
I also suggest this for your elderly parents who may not be monitoring their credit. Although freezing your credit doesn’t guarantee the prevention of identity theft, it certainly helps.
Feel free to call 661/775-0950 or schedule a 30 minute complimentary call to speak to one of our advisors, with any questions you may have. We are always here to help!
Vance Wealth, Inc. (“Vance Wealth”) is a registered investment advisor. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Vance Wealth and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.
The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your attorney or tax advisor.