Do You Need to Freeze Your Credit?
Everyone is familiar with the Equifax credit breach, yet this is only one of many breaches that have taken place over the past few years. From Yahoo to Anthem, numerous businesses have been hacked leaving their customers vulnerable. As a result, people are wondering does an equifax credit freeze make sense? Is this something they need to do right away? Before a person decides to freeze their credit, they need to understand a few things about how the process works.
Fees Are Involved
When a person freezes their credit, they will be charged a fee. Every time they wish to unfreeze it and then freeze it again, additional fees will be charged. Furthermore, the credit bureau may not respond in a timely manner. Wouldn’t it be frustrating to learn the house of your dreams got away because you were waiting for the bureau to lift the freeze? They haven’t been acting very timely in regards to the whole breach, thus individuals shouldn’t expect them to act any differently when a less pressing matter (in the bureau’s eyes) is involved. They definitely won’t feel the same sense of urgency as the person looking to buy a home.
Closing The Barn Door Too Late
Why close the barn door after the horse is already out? The personal information has already been stolen, thus putting a freeze on one’s credit won’t stop those involved in the breach from making use of the information. While it will help to alert the credit bureau if the thief attempts to use the information, they may not respond in a timely matter here either. Is it worth it to put a credit freeze in place knowing this?
Protection Is Already In Place
Banks and credit card providers have a number of systems in place to detect fraudulent activity. Consumers may already be aware of these systems without truly knowing what they are. For example, if a person is contacted by a credit card company to ask about specific charges the company deemed unusual, this is they system working. This should give consumers some peace of mind.
Before freezing your credit, consider the above information. Some people may feel it would be beneficial to freeze their credit, but not all. You’ll have to weight the pros and cons and make this decision for yourself.