Identity theft is more common today than ever before. Credit monitoring is great, but it only helps AFTER something bad has happened. How are we supposed to prevent identity theft?
Freezing your credit is a way to prevent anyone (including yourself) from opening new lines of credit with your social security number. If you know that you will not be opening any new credit cards or applying for any loans soon, freezing your credit is a way to give yourself peace of mind. You can also freeze your child’s credit if they’re under 16 to prevent anyone using theirs.
The issue with this is that there have always been fees to freeze and “thaw” your credit. This can go from being mildly irritating to not worth the expense. But President Trump just signed a law that removes fees from freezing your credit. All three reporting agencies must offer this service for free to anyone who needs it. This law also gives active military free credit monitoring in addition to this service. When you are ready to open a new line simply “thaw” your credit and apply for that new car. In some states thawing your credit can still carry a fee, anywhere from free to $10.
This service has NO effect on your credit score. It is a great way to protect yourself without having to pay for those expensive credit monitoring services.