How to Freeze Your Credit

Three free and quick steps to lock down credit inquiries.

Why freeze my credit?

Initiating a credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, is a federally-regulated way to restrict who can request your credit report. While there are a few entities that can still access your account (ex. creditors of existing accounts, some government agencies, credit monitoring companies you're working with), most cannot. This makes it harder for scammers to open up new credit accounts using your identity, like buy-now-pay-later loans and credit cards. You'll still be able to use your existing accounts.

If you believe your identity has been stolen, report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission at immediately.

If you're expecting to open up new credit accounts, a credit alert might be a better fit while you're looking. Otherwise, freezing your credit report is the most-secure option.

How do I do it?

There are three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can freeze your credit by contacting each one and requesting a security freeze. All three support initiating the freeze online, by phone, or by mail. Requests made by mail must be applied within three business days, while requests made online or by phone must be applied within one business day. Once set up, the freeze will remain active indefinitely until you remove it.

We suggest the speedier and more convenient online and phone methods. Here's the contact information for each major bureaus:

How do I undo it?

The freeze if lifted by following the same process used to request the freeze. Removing the freeze is also free and must be removed within one hour if requested by phone or online or within three business days if by mail.

You may also pause the freeze and schedule it to resume automatically after a period of time that you specify.

Additional Resources