Broker Check

How to Lock and Unlock Access to Your Credit

Follow These Steps to Freeze Your Credit Report:

  1. Read What is a Credit Freeze to gain valuable knowledge on this topic.
  2. Make sure to take our recommended Pre-Freeze steps 
  3. Now you are ready to call or visit the website of each of the FOUR (Not 3!) credit bureaus listed below:
    • Each bureau has a different process, so you will need to follow their steps.
    • Your personal identifiable information must be entered to process your request. This is a necessary evil, do not let this deter you.
    • There will be questions presented to you from your credit report to verify your identity. Some of these questions are difficult to answer. Do your best and if you are unable to answer correctly using the online tool, call the freeze hotline to complete the process with a representative.
    • Beginning September 21, 2018, there will no longer be a fee associated with freezing or unfreezing your credit.

Call the Freeze Hotline

800-349-9960

OR

Access Equifax's Online Tool

Call the Freeze Hotline

888-909-8872 

OR

Access TransUnion's Online Tool

Call the Freeze Hotline

888-397-3742

OR

Access Experian's Online Tool

Call the Freeze Hotline

800-540-2505

OR

Access Innovis' Online Tool

There is a 4th Credit Bureau

Innovis publishes credit file information that is provided to them by your creditors. Your Innovis report should contain the same information as the other three However, there is no score associated with Innovis.

Innovis is used primarily for compiling target demographic lists that are sold to companies for marketing purposes.

Follow these steps to Unfreeze

Important Notations: 

  • Unfreezing your credit is quick and simple.
  • It is our experience that your credit report is unlocked immediately, causing no delays.
  • Freezing your Credit Reports only prevents new accounts from being opened in your name.  It will not prevent fraud on your existing open bank or liability accounts.
  • Just as with anything new, each time becomes easier and easier. So, don’t be discouraged!
  • If you are lifting the freeze due to web-based technology that is requiring access to your credit report to verify your identity (ie: Credit Karma; SocialSecurity.gov; IRS etc.) you will want to perform the lift for several days, not just 24 hours because if you fail to answer correctly your own questions from your credit report when using the technology, you may be locked out of the system for 24 hours before you can try again.

 

Step 1

Find out which one of the credit bureaus will be used by the person or company needing to access your credit report.

Most of the time only one of your credit reports will need to be accessed, however, sometimes the vendor will not tell you which bureau they will be using, and you will need to unlock all of the "big 3" reports. 

The 4th bureau, Innovis, more than likely will not be used, so don't waste your time unfreezing this one.

Step 2

Next utilize the respective credit bureaus' dedicated freeze hotline or online tool and follow their instructions.

At this time, you will need to enter the pin you were given by each bureau when you initially placed the freeze.

Equifax

TransUnion

Experian

There may be a fee to unfreeze, depending on your state of residency.

Step 3

Choose the type of access you need

Permanently Remove the Freeze and then Refreeze

This should only be lifted permanently if you have a credit need with multiple vendors for an unknown period of time.

Temporary Lift for a period of time of your choosing.

Access to your credit report would then automatically re-freeze on the date you specify.