Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

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mhalley
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Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by mhalley » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:02 pm

Equifax has announced a new program starting in January to allow consumers to control access to their credit file for free and for life.
.The service we are developing will let consumers easily lock and unlock access to their Equifax credit files" Barros wrote. "You will be able to do this at will. It will be reliable, safe and simple. Most significantly, the service will be offered free, for life."
http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/27/news/co ... index.html
Kudos to them for this.

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Toons
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by Toons » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:29 pm

Thanks for posting.
Great News. :sharebeer
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Nicolas
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by Nicolas » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:31 pm

Hopefully the entire industry will follow suit.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by FrugalInvestor » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:33 pm

Hopefully the process for locking and unlocking will be secure.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by Kenkat » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:34 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:33 pm
Hopefully the process for locking and unlocking will be secure.
That will be the next hacker target.

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Watty
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by Watty » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:35 pm

Be sure to read all the fine print to find out what they have put into that agreement.

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by Longtermgrowth » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:37 pm

I like the idea of the credit lock over the freeze because it should allow low threat pulls from employers, insurance, etc without having to unlock.

So now it is free to lock at two of the big three, but as far as I can find, Experian still requires a paid subscription to lock credit there :(

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:39 pm

TransUnion seems to have something similar already in place. I noticed it today when I was putting credit freezes on the 3 bureaus. I had to do two extra clicks to get to the freeze section of TU; they were really pushing their new "free" monitoring program.

No thanks.

aristotelian
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by aristotelian » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:40 pm

mhalley wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:02 pm
Equifax has announced a new program starting in January to allow consumers to control access to their credit file for free and for life.
.The service we are developing will let consumers easily lock and unlock access to their Equifax credit files" Barros wrote. "You will be able to do this at will. It will be reliable, safe and simple. Most significantly, the service will be offered free, for life."
http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/27/news/co ... index.html
Kudos to them for this.
They would get kudos if they did this before getting hacked and covering it up. This is strictly a CYA move.

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nisiprius
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by nisiprius » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:09 pm

I am suspicious of their use of the words "lock and unlock" and that they say it is something they have to "develop."

I am thinking that they are talking about something that is not equivalent to a credit freeze.

If it is a credit freeze, then why do they say "lock and unlock" rather than "freeze and unfreeze?"

Why do they need to "develop" anything? They already have to charge different fees in different states, why do they need to do anything more than change the fees in every state to the number "zero?"
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

DiggleRex
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by DiggleRex » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:09 pm

j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:39 pm
TransUnion seems to have something similar already in place. I noticed it today when I was putting credit freezes on the 3 bureaus. I had to do two extra clicks to get to the freeze section of TU; they were really pushing their new "free" monitoring program.

No thanks.
Were you able to successfully freeze all three? Did you do them all online?

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by DiggleRex » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:20 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:09 pm
I am suspicious of their use of the words "lock and unlock" and that they say it is something they have to "develop."

I am thinking that they are talking about something that is not equivalent to a credit freeze.

If it is a credit freeze, then why do they say "lock and unlock" rather than "freeze and unfreeze?"
There is some difference, and they are intentionally muddying the waters (in my opinion). All three are now pushing the lock over the freeze (especially transunion). I'm guessing there's something in fine print somewhere that protects them more (or takes away our rights) with a lock vs a freeze. Who knows what we're agreeing to every time we hit "accept" to terms & agreements on a website.
Last edited by DiggleRex on Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ResearchMed
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:20 pm

What is the difference between "freezing" and "locking"?

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

DiggleRex
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by DiggleRex » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:26 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:20 pm
What is the difference between "freezing" and "locking"?
RM
Someone else is probably better suited to answer this than me, but consumer reports recently write an article on this called, "Why a Credit Freeze Is Better Than a Credit Lock"

And every article I've read on this topic in the recent weeks seems to be taking the same "skeptical of locks" attitude. Also keep in mind, the fine print for each bureaus version of a lock may be different, since as this article points out, freezes are part of the law whereas locks are based on an agreement between you and the company.
Last edited by DiggleRex on Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:30 pm

DIGGLEREX:
Is that your NAME in that linked article?
(Are there any other identifiers?)

DiggleRex wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:26 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:20 pm
What is the difference between "freezing" and "locking"?
RM
Someone else is probably better suited to answer this than me, but here's one article by consumer reports on this: https://www.consumerreports.org/credit- ... edit-lock/

And every article I've read on this topic in the recent weeks seems to be taking the same "skeptical of locks" attitude. Also keep in mind, the fine print for each bureaus version of a lock may be different, since as this article points out, freezes are part of the law whereas locks are based on an agreement between you and the company.
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

cas
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by cas » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:32 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:09 pm
I am suspicious of their use of the words "lock and unlock" and that they say it is something they have to "develop."
"Suspicious" does indeed seem to be what the consumer advocates and security experts are advising on this whole "lock" vs "freeze" lingo. For example (and these are brief quotes ... there's a lot more if you read the whole article):

Consumer Reports "Why a Credit Freeze is Better than a Credit Lock" https://www.consumerreports.org/credit- ... edit-lock/
Perhaps the main reason a security freeze is the better option is that its promise to guard your credit accounts is guaranteed by law . . .

In contrast, a credit lock is simply an agreement between you and the credit monitoring company.

“Having a contractual agreement is not as strong as having protections under law,” . . . “The contract may be unclear, may include provisions that allow the other party to change it, or include provisions that you may be better off not agreeing to, such as an arbitration agreement.


Brian Krebs, Krebs on Security, Sept 29 2017 "Here's What to Ask the Former Equifax CEO" https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/09/her ... uifax-ceo/
My first group of questions would center around security freezes or credit freezes, and the difference between those and these credit lock services being pushed hard by the bureaus. . . .

I’m curious to know what percentage of Americans had a freeze prior to the breach, and how many froze their credit files (or attempted to do so) after Equifax announced the breach. The answers to these questions may help explain why the bureaus are now massively pushing their new credit lock offerings (i.e., perhaps they’re worried about the revenue hit they’ll take should a significant percentage of Americans decide to freeze their credit files).

. . .

-Mr. Barros said Equifax will extend its offer of free credit freezes until the end of January 2018. Why not make them free indefinitely, just as the company says it plans to do with its credit lock service?

-In what way does a consumer placing a freeze on their credit file limit Equifax’s ability to do business?

-In what way does a consumer placing a lock on their credit file limit Equifax’s ability to do business?

-If a lock accomplishes the same as a freeze, why create more terminology that only confuses consumers?

-By agreeing to use Equifax’s lock service, will consumers also be opting in to any additional marketing arrangements, either via Equifax or any of its partners?


3 Weeks Later, Equifax Makes a Peace Offering - The New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/your ... ology.html

The NYT financial writer is on the scathing side about this new push towards "locks" rather than "freezes" but it would take one of my 10 free NYT clicks/month to click on it again and quote it, so sorry, no quote.
Last edited by cas on Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DiggleRex
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by DiggleRex » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:34 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:30 pm
DIGGLEREX:
Is that your NAME in that linked article?
(Are there any other identifiers?)
I'm not sure what you mean. I found this article recently and I bookmarked it because it seemed to raise some good points about why to be wary of a lock until more info about them come out.

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:36 pm

DiggleRex wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:34 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:30 pm
DIGGLEREX:
Is that your NAME in that linked article?
(Are there any other identifiers?)
I'm not sure what you mean. I found this article recently and I bookmarked it because it seemed to raise some good points about why to be wary of a lock until more info about them come out.
Does your name begin with a "J"?

There is a name of someone who seems to have started a subscription (or something) with Consumer Reports.
I'm more concerned if there is *other* info embedded there somewhere.

RM
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by jebmke » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:39 pm

Watty wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:35 pm
Be sure to read all the fine print to find out what they have put into that agreement.
Bingo
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DiggleRex
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by DiggleRex » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:41 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:36 pm

Does your name begin with a "J"?

There is a name of someone who seems to have started a subscription (or something) with Consumer Reports.
I'm more concerned if there is *other* info embedded there somewhere.

RM
I apologize but I'm still unclear on what is being asked. I don't have a subscription or anything to do with Consumer Reports. This is just an article I bookmarked recently.

mhalley
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by mhalley » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:26 pm

Time will tell whether this will be equivalent to a freeze. Certainly the idea of doing this quickly with an app is appealing, but also is something else to be hacked, or another problem if you lose your phone. We don’t know yet if this will be similar to the transunion product. Perhaps kudos wasn’t the right phrase, maybe bout time! Would have been better. I meant to cinvey that at least they are now trying to do something after doing way too little in the past.

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gasdoc
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by gasdoc » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:29 pm

Thank you for posting this. I’ll be watching to see if their lock is the same as a freeze.

Gasdoc

mhalley
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by mhalley » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:30 pm

The nyt link above is not working for me. I will post a link to the same article I think
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/your ... ology.html

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gasdoc
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by gasdoc » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:35 pm

mhalley wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:30 pm
The nyt link above is not working for me. I will post a link to the same article I think
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/your ... ology.html
Just read the NYT article. I am losing my enthusiasm.

Gasdoc

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htdrag11
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by htdrag11 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:42 pm

Not sure if it's related but beware of the Experian's Dark Web hype; there is always a catch coming from these CRAs. No one will read 17,600 words of fine print and that relatively few folks have the slightest idea what the Dark Web is.

http://www.latimes.com/business/lazarus ... story.html

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by Mitchell777 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:26 pm

I caught some of today's congressional testimony. The former Equifax CEO, in my opinion, seemed to be having a little difficulty explaining the difference between the new lock and freeze offering.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:54 pm

My understanding is they will only offer locks for free (so believe this thread is mistitled). I will still to doing freezes as I am not exactly trusting Equifax and their made up terminology and terms I'm sure they will force you to agree to.

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by GerryL » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:20 pm

From what I understand, states can decide whether and how much (up to the max) consumers will be required to pay for credit freezes. Residents of several states are not charged. Residents of Oregon can be charged the max ($10? or is it now $15?). If this is the case, we should all be lobbying our state legislators to pass laws that residents cannot be charged to freeze and unfreeze their credit. Now would be a good time to start the campaign, dontcha think?

PS On several occasions I have been able to temporarily unfreeze credit at an individual agency without paying a fee. When I apply for a credit card, I let the bank know I have a freeze in place and they should let me know which agency they are going to query so I can unfreeze just that one. This last time, the credit card company got the agency on the phone and we got it done online in a jiffy. No charge applied. I would guess that they do it for their real customer -- the credit card company.

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by mhalley » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:46 pm

That’s why I put credit freeze in quotes, as we really don’t know exactly what it will be.

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:47 pm

DiggleRex wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:09 pm
j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:39 pm
TransUnion seems to have something similar already in place. I noticed it today when I was putting credit freezes on the 3 bureaus. I had to do two extra clicks to get to the freeze section of TU; they were really pushing their new "free" monitoring program.

No thanks.
Were you able to successfully freeze all three? Did you do them all online?
Experian and equifax were super easy online.

TU was a complete PITA. Online didn't work, automated phone system didn't work. Talked to an obviously non-American call center worker who I had to give all of my sensitive data to, that was definitely reassuring. But yes, he said he was able to place the freeze. TU also double charged my CC so now I have to go through some archaic method of mailing in my CC statement to request a refund. I'm just going to dispute it instead.

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:48 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:54 pm
My understanding is they will only offer locks for free (so believe this thread is mistitled). I will still to doing freezes as I am not exactly trusting Equifax and their made up terminology and terms I'm sure they will force you to agree to.
Exactly.

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Gamma Ray
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by Gamma Ray » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:55 pm

Why can't we have one place to freeze all our credit with one click instead of having go through loops with different credit agencies, etc..

mhalley
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for l

Post by mhalley » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:05 am

I can’t see the 3 companies working close enough to enable an all in one function. They are competitors, after all. I suppose technically they could do it, but there might be liability issues, say someone’s experion freeze is compromized and this causes the other two to be thawed, resulting in identity theft. The consumer then sues the company used to verify the fraudulent account for not having adequate security.

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by Longtermgrowth » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:54 am

mhalley wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:46 pm
That’s why I put credit freeze in quotes, as we really don’t know exactly what it will be.
Indeed. Also, those that have signed up for the one free year of "TrustedID Premier" currently have the option to lock their Equifax credit report through their TrustedID Premier account.

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by Cigarman » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:04 am

I froze my credit over a decade ago and the process to unfreeze has become easier and easier, takes less than 15 minutes for all three bureau's. It does not, however, stop someone from stealing your card and attempting to use it for purchases. However, it does prevent new credit from being established which is the goal of the freeze.

My credit card companies (Citi, BofA, Chase and CapOne, I use for business) do a fairly good job of notifying me of suspicious activity so unless I go to an all cash basis, that is the best I can hope for.

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by Rupert » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:29 am

Gamma Ray wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:55 pm
Why can't we have one place to freeze all our credit with one click instead of having go through loops with different credit agencies, etc..
Because these are private corporations we are dealing with, not the government. Even the government-sponsored annualcreditreport.com is just a portal that redirects you to the individual credit bureau's websites . . .

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:42 am

Rupert wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:29 am
Gamma Ray wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:55 pm
Why can't we have one place to freeze all our credit with one click instead of having go through loops with different credit agencies, etc..
Because these are private corporations we are dealing with, not the government. Even the government-sponsored annualcreditreport.com is just a portal that redirects you to the individual credit bureau's websites . . .
Technically annualcreditreport.com is government directed and NOT government sponsored from my understanding. It would be a very simple manner to expand the site to include freezes and unfreezes - our government just needs to step up and make it so.

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by DiggleRex » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:05 am

j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:47 pm

TU was a complete PITA. Online didn't work, automated phone system didn't work.
Ah this is what I fear. :( How long ago did you do it? I'm wondering if things will be better a week or two out (I realize the risk of waiting but I have to do things soon that may lead to my report being accessed). Did he give you the pin right over the phone?

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by Rupert » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:06 am

DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:42 am
Rupert wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:29 am
Gamma Ray wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:55 pm
Why can't we have one place to freeze all our credit with one click instead of having go through loops with different credit agencies, etc..
Because these are private corporations we are dealing with, not the government. Even the government-sponsored annualcreditreport.com is just a portal that redirects you to the individual credit bureau's websites . . .
Technically annualcreditreport.com is government directed and NOT government sponsored from my understanding. It would be a very simple manner to expand the site to include freezes and unfreezes - our government just needs to step up and make it so.
But wouldn't you still be redirected to the bureaus' websites and have to go through whatever steps the bureaus require, just like you have to do now with free credit reports? Just not sure that's much of an improvement over the present system.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:25 am

Rupert wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:06 am
DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:42 am
Rupert wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:29 am
Gamma Ray wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:55 pm
Why can't we have one place to freeze all our credit with one click instead of having go through loops with different credit agencies, etc..
Because these are private corporations we are dealing with, not the government. Even the government-sponsored annualcreditreport.com is just a portal that redirects you to the individual credit bureau's websites . . .
Technically annualcreditreport.com is government directed and NOT government sponsored from my understanding. It would be a very simple manner to expand the site to include freezes and unfreezes - our government just needs to step up and make it so.
But wouldn't you still be redirected to the bureaus' websites and have to go through whatever steps the bureaus require, just like you have to do now with free credit reports? Just not sure that's much of an improvement over the present system.
I like the step-through methodology of annualcreditreport.com - although it redirects you to each site individually - you also get redirected back - so if you want to get all 3 reports at once its a nice workflow - it simply steps through each agency. You also have the option of selecting a specific agency. If they implemented the same workflow for freezing/unfreezing it would be a huge improvement over having to go to each site individually and find the freeze/unfreeze page - you could either unfreeze all three - or pick the agency you need to unfreeze - all from a single starting point - without the need to keep up with the fact that these agencies change names, etc. which causes a chance of hitting a bad site.

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:40 am

DiggleRex wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:05 am
j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:47 pm

TU was a complete PITA. Online didn't work, automated phone system didn't work.
Ah this is what I fear. :( How long ago did you do it? I'm wondering if things will be better a week or two out (I realize the risk of waiting but I have to do things soon that may lead to my report being accessed). Did he give you the pin right over the phone?
I did it whatever day I originally posted or the day before.
No pin yet. Dude said it will be coming in the mail.

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by GerryL » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:04 pm

In late August, just before I headed out of the country on vacation, I went to AnnualCreditReport.com to get my credit report from Equifax. I pull a report every 4 months, and Equifax was up.

I filled out the form and answered all the questions, but when I clicked to see the report, I was told they could not display it and that I must mail in a paper form to receive the report. That is the first time this has ever happened to me. About a week later the news came out about the Equifax hack. I wonder if the inability to pull my report is related. Did anyone else here try to pull an Equifax report just before the hack was revealed?

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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by livesoft » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:16 pm

I'm thinking this is for the life of Equifax which might die pretty soon anyways.
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cas
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Re: Equifax to offer free “credit freeze” for life

Post by cas » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:48 am

GerryL wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:04 pm
In late August, just before I headed out of the country on vacation, I went to AnnualCreditReport.com to get my credit report from Equifax. I pull a report every 4 months, and Equifax was up.

I filled out the form and answered all the questions, but when I clicked to see the report, I was told they could not display it and that I must mail in a paper form to receive the report. That is the first time this has ever happened to me. About a week later the news came out about the Equifax hack. I wonder if the inability to pull my report is related. Did anyone else here try to pull an Equifax report just before the hack was revealed?
People have been reporting the above behavior from Equifax (and other CRAs, but Equifax seems mentioned the most) in the forums for years. Who knows whether or not more people started getting it once the hack was known.

Here are some threads on the topic:

Sept. 2017: "Problems obtaining a free annual Equifax credit report online" viewtopic.php?f=2&t=227651

July 2017: "AnnualCreditReport Equifax" viewtopic.php?t=223919

October 2015: "Tried to get Equifax credit report" viewtopic.php?t=176741

May 2014: "[Problem obtaining online] Free Credit Report" viewtopic.php?t=139846

July 2013: "Tried to get credit report - security questions don't match" viewtopic.php?t=120578

Oct 2008: "Experian credit freeze/can't get free annual report online?" viewtopic.php?t=26753

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