Major Credit Bureau Offers Credit Freeze

by Laura Spadanuta, Assistant Editor

Proponents of credit freezes as a tool to combat identity theft got another victory today when Experian, one of the nation's top three credit bureaus, offered credit freezes to consumers in all 50 states and Washington D.C., as reported by The Washington Post.

A credit freeze allows individuals to freeze their credit, blocking attempts by potential identity thefts to open new credit lines in their name.  Critics of freezes cite potential difficulty in getting instant credit and removing the freeze. And The Post points out that the major credit bureaus have resisted offering freezes and its industry lobbyists have fought state freezes in the past. The Post reports that bureaus resisted freezes because they make money selling credit information to potential creditors.

As reported in August's issue of Security Management, California was the first state to pass a credit freeze law and now about 39 states and D.C. have such laws on file that will kick in by 2008 or 2009. Now residents of the remaining states (or states with laws that just allow freezes for identity theft victims) will have access to the tool in November.

The Post reports that another of the big three credit bureaus, TransUnion, broke ranks with the industry two weeks ago when it became the first bureau to offer the freeze. Equifax is the final major credit bureau; it has not yet offered the credit freeze.



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Building credit has become an essential part of financial success that most of us as consumers fail to realize. With the exception of payday loan lenders and a few like them who don’t require a credit check when obtaining their services, most creditors report all open accounts, balances, late payments and so forth to the three main national credit bureau's. These credit bureaus determine a credit score for each consumer based upon their own mathematical algorithm which creditors look at before awarding or denying you credit. Most people don’t realize just how important good credit is these days; I was shocked by reading this article on the payday loan money blog at which said that everything from car insurance, to personal employment, takes into account your credit score.

You can read the article yourself entitled "Credit: Part I | Financial Tips from Your Payday Loan Source" on the payday loans money blog at

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