A credit freeze/security freeze lets you stop the disclosure of your credit report by a credit bureau. Most but not all states offer credit freezes. Some credit agencies offer a credit freeze. As a result, neither you nor anyone else can open a new credit account in your name. A lender or merchant will normally not issue new credit if it cannot access your credit report or score. A credit freeze also prevents anyone from accessing you credit information, so if you actively seeking new employment, a loan, or insurance, you may want to wait until you have completed you search. You can unlock or "thaw" your security freeze temporarily, for a small fee, by using a PIN to unlock access to the credit file. This allows a rental agency or loan officer to check your credit. For more information: FTC Credit Freeze page.
How to freeze credit
Consumer’s Union has an excellent and frequently updated page on all current state freeze laws and requirements, with a link on how to opt-out for each state and sample letters: http://www.consumersunion.org/campaigns/learn_more/003484indiv.html
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