How to Freeze Access to Your Credit!

How to Freeze or Block Access to Your Credit!

A State-by-State Credit Freeze Resource and Checklist

Security freeze laws allow you as a consumer to prevent identity theft by freezing access to your credit reports for obtaining new credit. This means that no one can open a new credit card in your name and run up a bill. The three major credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) have agreed, voluntarily, starting in January 2008, to allow all consumers to freeze their credit - for a fee.

TransUnion and Experian don't charge identity-theft victims to put a credit freeze on their files. But other consumers (those who haven't been victimized) must pay $10 to each of the credit bureaus to freeze their reports, unless they live in a state that mandates a lower fee (see the list below). Equifax still hasn't provided details on its fees. But it will probably charge the same as the others, meaning that freezing all three of your credit reports will cost you $30 (per person, meaning married couples would pay a total of $60).

If you are in a state that does not have a law to govern it, the credit bureaus also charge a fee to lift (or "thaw") the freeze. TransUnion and Experian will charge you $10 for this service (Equifax has not yet announced their fee). Again, unless your state mandates a lower fee, you will have to pay a total of $30 (per person) to remove the freeze each time you apply for a mortgage, car loan or other type of credit.

In general, under the voluntary agreement, to place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number:

Some states have specific laws that may force a lower freeze/unfreeze rate or other provisions.   See the chart below. If your state law has specific freeze allowances, click on the links below for more information about how to do it in that state - if you state law does not provide for a freeze or only provides it for victims of identity theft, you can still use the voluntary agreement to request a credit freeze.

State Freeze allowance mandated by law? Cost to freeze? Unfreeze details and cost
Alabama No $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number:  
Arizona No $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number:  
Alaska No $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number:  
Arkansas Yes - for identity theft victims with a valid investigative report, an incident report, or a complaint with a law enforcement agency $10. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. Non ID-theft-victims may still use the voluntary agreement method at $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number:

 

$10 for a temporary lift or to remove
California Yes - any consumer may one for victims, others pay up to $10 per freeze. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page. $10 for temporary lifting for a given period, $12 for temporary lift for one creditor. 
Colorado Yes - any consumer may no charge for the first freeze, $10 per subsequent freeze. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. $10 for temporary lifting for a given period, $12 for temporary lift for one creditor.  
Connecticut Yes - any consumer may $10. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. $10 for temporary lifting for a given period, $12 for temporary lift for one creditor
Delaware Yes - any consumer may $20. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. Free to temporarily lift for a given period or for a specific creditor. 
District of Columbia Yes - any consumer may $10 for an initial placement, free for victims of ID theft.   For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. none
Florida Yes - any consumer may none for victims of identity theft with investigative report or seniors aged 65+.  For others, the fee is $10.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion.  Thaw (or Temporary Lift) Fee: $10 to temporarily lift or remove 
Georgia No $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number:  
Hawaii Yes - but limited to  victims of identity theft with a police investigative report or complaint filed with a law enforcement agency. none. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. Non ID-theft-victims may still use the voluntary agreement method at $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number: none
Idaho No $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number:  
Illinois Yes - any consumer may none for seniors 65+, $10 for others.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. none for seniors 65+, $10 for others to remove or temporarily thaw
Indiana Yes - any consumer may None. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. None
Iowa No $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number:  
Kansas Yes - available only for victims of identity theft with a policy investigative report or a complaint filed with a law enforcement agency none. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. Non ID-theft-victims may still use the voluntary agreement method at $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number: none
Kentucky Yes - any consumer may none for victims of identity theft with a police report, $10 for others. The freeze expires 7 years from date it was put in effect.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. none for victims of identity theft with a police report, $10 for others to remove, temporarily thaw, or have PIN reissued 
Louisiana Yes - any consumer may none for victims of identity theft or individuals age 62 or older, $10 for others. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page. none for victims of identity theft, $8 for others. 
Maine Yes - any consumer may none for victims of identity theft who provide a police report, $10 for others.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. none for victims of identity theft who provide a police report, $10 to remove, temporarily thaw, or have PIN reissued, and $12 to lift for a specific creditor. 
Maryland Yes - any consumer may None for victims of ID theft who provide report of alleged identity fraud or with an identity theft passport. Others pay $5 for each placement, temporary lift or removal. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. None for victims of ID theft who provide report of alleged identity fraud or with an identity theft passport. Others pay $5 for each temporary lift or removal.
Massachusetts Yes - any consumer may No fee for identity theft victims or victim's spouse. $5 to place the freeze. Effective date of law: February 3, 2008
Permanent freeze remains until removal requested by consumer. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion.
$5 to lift it temporarily, or remove it altogether
Michigan No $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number:  
Minnesota Yes - any consumer may none for victims of identity theft who provide a police report, $5 for all others.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. none for victims of identity theft who provide a police report; for others, $5 to remove, temporarily thaw, have PIN reissued, or lift for a specific creditor. 
Mississippi Yes - but limited to  victims of identity theft with a police investigative report or complaint filed with a law enforcement agency. $10.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. Non ID-theft-victims may still use the voluntary agreement method at $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number: None
Missouri No $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number:  
Montana Yes $3.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. $3
Nebraska Yes - any consumer may No fees for identity theft victims and minors. All others pay a one time $15 fee to place the freeze. Effective: September 1, 2007. The freeze automatically expires after 7 years from date of placement. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. No fee for lifting the freeze temporarily or removing it altogether.
Nevada Yes - any consumer may none for victims of identity theft who provide a police report, $15 for others.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. none for victims of identity theft who provide a police report; for others, $18 to remove and $20 to lift for a specific creditor.
New Hampshire Yes - any consumer may none for victims of identity theft who provide a police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency, and $10 for others.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. none for victims of identity theft who provide a police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency, and $10 for others. 
New Jersey Yes - any consumer may Free: none for initial freeze.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page.

 

up to $5 to remove, thaw, or have PIN reissued. Note: the request can be made directly to consumer reporting agencies via email. 
New Mexico Yes  - but limited to residents over 65 years of age, victims of identity theft with a police investigative report or complaint filed with a law enforcement agency. Free for residents over 65 years of age, identity theft victims with copy of police or investigative report..  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. Non ID-theft-victims may still use the voluntary agreement method at $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number: Free for residents over 65 years of age, identity theft victims with copy of police or investigative report.
New York Yes - any consumer may Free for initial freeze, and, for non-victims, $5 for subsequent freezes.    For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. none for victims of identity theft, $5 for others 
North Carolina Yes - any consumer may none for victims of identity theft, $10 for others.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page. none for victims of identity theft, $10 for others to remove or temporarily thaw.
North Dakota Yes - any consumer may No fees for ID theft victims with valid copy of a police report or police case number documenting the identity theft, investigative report, or complaint to law enforcement agency. $5 for all others. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. No fees for ID theft victims with valid copy of a police report or police case number documenting the identity theft, investigative report, or complaint to law enforcement agency. $5 for all others.
Ohio No - the laws are pending $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number:  
Oklahoma Yes - any consumer may none for victims of identity theft or seniors 65+, $10 for others.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. Thaw (or Temporary Lift) Fee: none for victims of identity theft or seniors 65+, $10 for others. 
Oregon Yes - any consumer may None for identity theft victims. $10 to place the freeze. Effective date of law: October 1, 2007. The permanent freeze remains until removal requested by consumer. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion.  $10 to lift it temporarily, or remove it altogether
Pennsylvania Yes - any consumer may No fees for ID theft victims with valid copy of a police report or police case number documenting the identity theft, investigative report, or complaint to law enforcement agency. $10 for all others. .  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. No fees for ID theft victims with valid copy of a police report or police case number documenting the identity theft, investigative report, or complaint to law enforcement agency. $10 for all others. Freeze lasts 7 years.
 
Rhode Island Yes - any consumer may none for victims of identity theft or seniors 65+, $10 for others.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. none for victims of identity theft or seniors 65+, $10 for others to remove or temporarily thaw 
South Carolina No $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number:  
South Dakota Yes - limited to victims of identity theft with a police report. none.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. Non ID-theft-victims may still use the voluntary agreement method at $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number: none. Note: the freeze expires 7 years from the date it was put in effect, OR whenever the consumer requests. 
Tennessee Yes - any consumer may No fees for identity theft victims. All others pay $7.50 to place the freeze. Effective date of the law: January 1, 2008. Permanent freeze remains until removal requested by consumer. For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. No fee to lift it temporarily, and $5 to remove it altogether.
Texas Yes - limited to victims of identity theft with a police report. none.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. Non ID-theft-victims may still use the voluntary agreement method at $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number: none
Utah Yes - any consumer may "reasonable" rates as determined by the credit issuers.    For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. "reasonable" rates as determined by the credit issuers.
Vermont Yes - any consumer may None for victims, up to $10 others.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page. None for victims, up to $5 others  
Virginia No $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number:  
Washington state Yes - limited to victims of identity theft, including persons who receive a notice of a security breach of computerized personal information. No fee.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page. Non ID-theft-victims may still use the voluntary agreement method at $10 for each person at each credit bureau under the voluntary agreement. To place a freeze, click on the blue link or call their phone number: none
West Virginia Yes $5.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion.  
Wisconsin Yes - any consumer may none for an "individual who submits evidence satisfactory to the CRAs that the individual made a report to a law enforcement agency," and up to $10 for others.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. none for an "individual who submits evidence satisfactory to the CRAs that the individual made a report to a law enforcement agency," and up to $10 for others to remove or temporarily thaw.  
Wyoming Yes - any consumer may Requires electronic and telephone methods to lift, imposes the 15 minute lift timeframe starting 9/1/08. Free to victims of identity theft, $10 for all others.  For more information about how to request a freeze, see this page from ConsumerUnion. Free to victims of identity theft, $10 for all others.

Whether your state has a credit freeze or not, you can and should put a freeze on your files at each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Note that each agency has a different procedure for consumers to freeze their files.

Credit reporting agency

Mailing address

I Information to send

 

Equifax
1-800-685-1111

Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
  • Send a request to freeze access to your files by certified mail.
  • Your name, current and former address, Social Security number, date of birth
  • You may pay by check, money order or credit card. Credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express or Discover only): Give name of card, account number, expiration date
  • ID theft victim must include: valid copy of police report, investigative report or complaint filed with law enforcement agency
 

Experian
1-888-397-3742

Experian Security Freeze
P. O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
  • Send a request to freeze access to your files by certified mail. 
  • Your full name, with middle initial and Jr./Sr., etc.
  • Your current address and home addresses for past five years, Social Security number, birth date, two proofs of residence (copy of driver's license, utility bill, insurance statement, bank statement)
  • You may pay by check, money order or credit card. Credit card: Give name of card, account number and expiration date.
  • ID theft victim must include: valid copy of police report, investigative report or complaint filed with law enforcement agency
 

TransUnion
1-888-909-8872

Trans Union Security Freeze
P. O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
  • Send a request to freeze access to your files by regular or certified mail.
  • Your first name, middle initial, last name, Jr., etc.
  • Your current home address and addresses for past five years, Social Security number, birth date
  • You may pay by check, money order or credit card. Credit card: Give name of card, account number and expiration date.
  • ID theft victim must include: valid copy of police report, investigative report or complaint filed with law enforcement agency

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!

 

 


 

For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.