20 Feb Why the Credit Bureaus Argue Against Freezing Your Credit to Prevent Fraud
Identity theft and credit fraud can destroy a person’s hard earned credit score. One way to combat this is by requesting a credit freeze from each of the major credit bureaus. However, in her article on Experian’s website, Maxine Sweet, Vice President of Public Relations, argues that freezing your credit report can cause more problems that they solve.
Basically, credit freezing entails issuing a secret PIN number to the consumer that must be presented to the credit bureau to “thaw” the credit report. Ms. Sweet points out how incredibly inconvenient this can be for the consumer, and it can take up to three days to take effect. In the event the consumer forgets the PIN, the process for thawing the credit report becomes fairly involved and takes weeks to complete.
Ms. Sweet suggests a credit monitoring service to instantly alert consumers to any activity on their credit report, providing the opportunity to act quickly to prevent fraud. Of course, this is a service offered by Experian at a cost to the consumer of $10.00 per month, where the cost of freezing your credit file is a one time fee of $10.00 paid to each of the three credit bureaus.
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