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It Will Soon Be Free To Freeze (And Unfreeze) Your US Credit Report

In the wake of the Equifax data breach one year ago, in which an estimated 145 million consumers’ personal information was stolen from the credit agency, one of the very few countermeasures customers were given was to freeze their credit, at all three major US credit agencies. A credit freeze restricts access to a consumer’s credit report, making it harder for would-be identity thieves to apply for loans or lines of credit in a victim’s name.

Freezing credit is a cumbersome process, with every agency asking customers to jump through a slightly different set of hoops to activate the freeze, and another every time the freeze needs to be temporarily lifted for a routine financial transaction like obtaining a loan or opening a credit card. In many US states, each freeze or thaw comes with a fee of roughly $5 to $10 per transaction, per agency.