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The Credit Freeze Process in Practice

So I got around to getting my credit filed a few weeks ago and now I'm sitting pretty with freeze letters from all three credit reporting companies. Here's a breakdown by company:

Equifax

They sent me a simple one page letter explaining that the freeze had been placed and giving instructions on how to lift it along with a 9ish digit pin. Simple enough. It's nice to note that you can lift the freeze by calling a phone number rather than having to mail something in. They also point out that you have the option to lift it for a specific party or for a period of time. So far so good. They don't say how long it takes to lift the freeze so I called them to ask (but they were closed). Their hours kind of suck so I'll try again soon and post the results.

Experian

Like Equifax, they sent a single page description of the freeze and how it works with them. They even have a website I can log into to lift the freeze temporarily. Unfortunately, they say it could take up to 3 days to lift the freeze (which is crap since the computer system could lift the freeze in mere seconds). Otherwise, no issues.

Transunion

At first I had a little trouble because I piled all the mailings together and Transunion sent me a credit report along with my freeze. When I couldn't find the freeze data (in a separate mailing), I called them and had to navigate through their brutally hostile phone system (which insulted me and hung up on me once). Fortuneately the person who finally answers was polite and clearly a native English speaker. Once I sorted out the confusion, I opened the correct letter and found what I needed. The freeze notification is 5 pages long and the PIN is a full 4 digits shorter than the other two companies. Amusingly, they seem to be chiding me for getting the freeze by reminding me how difficult it will be to get credit now (heh). Interesting note: they can't update my name and address information while the account is frozen. Bonus! They are easily the most detailed in describing how lifting the freeze works though. They say that if you specify a specific entity to access your credit, you will be issued a custom number to give to whoever wants to run your credit. In other words, no one gets your PIN ever. Good. Like Equifax, they have a phone number that I can call to lift the freeze, but because of their hours of operation (even worse than Equifax), I couldn't call to see how long it takes. Tags: , ,

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