19 September 2017 @ 08:39 pm
In light of the Equifax security breach announced on September 7th, I strongly recommend placing credit freezes on the following:
  • Equifax: https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp (freeze is free until 11/21/2017)
    IMPORTANT: To anyone who had recently placed a security freeze on Equifax prior to 9/15/2017:
    If your PIN resembles this format, mmddyyhhmm, e.g. 0908172136 for September 8, 2017 at 9:36pm (i.e. time stamp of when you placed your freeze online), go online or call them right now and unfreeze it. Wait 15 minutes. You can then re-freeze online and get a totally randomly generated PIN that isn't of that previous format (EQ fixed their PINs to be much more secure).
  • Experian: https://www.experian.com/ncaconline/freeze (fees may apply; see below)
  • TransUnion: https://freeze.transunion.com/sf/securityFreeze/landingPage.jsp (fees may apply; see below)
  • Innovis: https://www.innovis.com/securityFreeze/index (FREE)
  • ChexSystems: https://www.chexsystems.com/web/chexsystems/consumerdebit/page/securityfreeze/placefreeze/ (FREE right now, though there's a PDF that says they reserve the right to charge the following fees)

    States I've been told you can freeze your EQ, EX, TU reports for FREE:
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina.

    IMPORTANT: I believe these four states automatically unfreeze your credit reports after 7 years: Kentucky, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.

    Credit freeze fees by state,
  • according to Equifax: https://help.equifax.com/servlet/fileField?entityId=ka137000000DSDyAAO&field=attachment__body__s (though placing a freeze is currently FREE from 9/07/2017 to 11/21/2017)
  • according to Experian: https://www.experian.com/news/security-freeze.html
  • according to TransUnion: https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze/credit-freeze-information-by-state
    Keep in mind fees could apply when thawing or lifting a freeze, and they vary by state.

    You should also pull all your credit reports (which you can do once every 12 months for FREE):
  • Equifax: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/
  • Experian: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/
  • TransUnion: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/
  • Innovis: https://www.innovis.com/creditReport/index
  • ChexSystems: https://www.chexsystems.com/web/chexsystems/consumerdebit/page/requestreports/consumerdisclosure/

    And opt out of pre-screened offers: https://www.optoutprescreen.com/

    You can also get a free monthly Experian credit report and Experian FICO Score 8: https://www.experian.com/consumer-products/free-credit-report.html
    Or an overview of your credit (not a full report) every month for free through Discover, which also includes your Experian FICO Score 8: https://www.creditscorecard.com/registration

    Credit card products that offer free FICO scores (from my personal experience):
  • If you have an American Express credit card, you can get your Experian FICO Score 8 every month for free.
  • If you have a Discover credit card or a Bank of America credit card, you can get your TransUnion FICO Score 8 every month for free.
  • If you have a Citi credit card, you can get your Equifax FICO Bankcard Score 8 every month for free (note: this is a different scoring model than the FICO Score 8).

    More on different FICO Score models here: http://www.myfico.com/credit-education/credit-score-versions/
    VantageScore model(s): https://your.vantagescore.com/interpret_scores

    Disclaimer: Any resources I've listed here are ones that I have personally utilized and verified. If you would like to add any other suggestions, feel free to do so in the comments.
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