Security FreezeIf you’re in the market for your retirement home – the dream home you hope will represent your final trip to the closing table – then you may want to celebrate with a Security Freeze. Not your typical cold drink-style celebration, getting a security freeze will protect your credit from theft or fraud.

A recent article on the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog, “

Security Freezes, Credit, Identity Theft and Fraud,”  explains that a security freeze will keep your credit report from being accessible to most third parties. It’s most convenient for people who have purchased their final home and opened all the credit cards they need. If you go to access new credit, perhaps for the occasional new car, you’ll need to temporarily lift the freeze for the specific lender you want to allow access. For people who are still applying for credit fairly often, this could become a real hassle.

For Equifax, the easiest and fastest way to place a security freeze on your credit file is to follow the steps online. You’ll need to contact each of the other credit reporting agencies (TransUnion and Experian), too, for your credit freeze to be completely effective.

When you place a freeze, the only parties that can access your file are you, the credit reporting agency’s security freeze group, people you have given temporary access, companies that already have credit relationships with you (or their collection agencies), law enforcement agencies, credit monitoring companies, the companies that sell credit reports to consumers, or Federal agencies as allowed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If this still seems like a lot, imagine how many companies could gain access before you placed the freeze!

For complete details, including a link to the costs (which vary by state), visit the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog. If you have any questions about security freezes, you can post them there, and Equifax experts will respond.

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