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Q.What is a credit freeze?

A.A credit freeze is stronger than a fraud alert. With a fraud alert. a potential lender is merely signaled to contact you by phone for permission to open a new credit account. With a credit freeze, no one can open any form of credit in your name. Your credit file is frozen -- off limits to potential lenders, insurers, utility companies, retailers, and even employers. If a retailer, utility company, or lender calls to check your credit, the person on the phone will be informed that your credit is frozen.

All California residents have had the right to place a credit freeze on their credit file, which prevents credit from being issued in their name. For California residents, the credit freeze is free if the resident can prove he or she was a victim of identity theft. If not, the credit freeze is effectively $30 ($10 for each of the three credit rating bureaus). Other fees also apply. There is a $10 fee to process a temporary date-range removal of the credit freeze for each of the three credit rating bureaus ($30 total); and there is a $12 fee ($36 total) to remove the credit freeze for a particular creditor.

Copyright 1999-2019 Melissa C. Marsh. All Rights Reserved. All Information on this website is subject to a Disclaimer and Use Agreement. This information is provided as general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. We advise you to seek the advice of competent legal counsel to address your own specific questions, facts and circumstances.