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The new federal law starting September 21, 2018 called the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act will help consumers stop intruders in their tracts. The three big credit-reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion will be required to offer you a credit freeze indefinitely for free of charge. This service normally will cost $10 per credit bureau or $30 total for all 3 credit bureaus. The consumer who signs up for a voluntary credit freeze is given a PIN that you will have to provide in order to unfreeze your credit file in order to apply for new credit at no cost.  

Under the new law, if a consumer asks for a freeze online or by phone, the credit reporting agency has to put the freeze in place no later than the next business day. If the consumer wants to lift the freeze to finance a new iphone 10s or buying a new house, that has to happen within an hour. 

The lesser option - a fraud alert  means that you are adding a red flag to your credit report to alert a lender to carefully verify your identity before making a loan. Under this new law, a fraud alert will last one year instead of 90 days. In case of a victim of identity theft, you would still be able to extend a fraud alert for seven years. 

Identity theft is a huge business because of its huge payouts. Thieves can use your stolen Social Security number for getting medical care or poaching your medical insurance, filing fraudulent tax refunds, filing for unemployment benefits or even getting Social Security benefits. 

Even if you are not affected by the Equifax data breach in 2017, people should consider placing a credit freeze with each of the three credit bureaus after September 21, 2018 as it substantially limits potential abuse of one's credit report. Here's how you can do it.  










Posted by Sam Kader on September 17th, 2018 8:55 PM

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