New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Paul Romano
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:47 pm

New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by Paul Romano » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:41 pm

New York Times 9/16/18


Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/you ... tcore-ipad


"Consumers will soon be able to freeze their credit files without charge. So if you have not yet frozen your files — a recommended step to foil identity theft — now is a good time to take action, consumer advocates say.

Security freezes, often called credit freezes, are “absolutely” the best way to prevent criminals from using your personal information to open new accounts in your name, said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy with Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a consumer advocacy nonprofit group.

Free freezes, which will be available next Friday, were required as part of broader financial legislation signed in May by President Trump.


Freezes will not protect you from other types of fraud, like someone using the number of a credit card you already have, or impersonating you online to claim your Social Security benefits. To help prevent those types of theft, Mr. Litt recommends checking your credit card statements regularly for suspicious charges, and setting up and monitoring an online Social Security account, to prevent criminals from opening one first and diverting your benefit checks. A PIRG report suggests other helpful steps as well.

Checking your credit report periodically is also wise. You are entitled to one free copy each year from the big three bureaus at annualcreditreport.com. (A security freeze will not prevent you from getting your free annual report, the F.T.C. says.)"

jehovasfitness
Posts: 502
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by jehovasfitness » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:43 pm

Froze ours. Then because you have to do 3 separate freezes for each spouse that's 6 logins/passwords.

We were car shopping recently and what a PITA to unfreeze

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 47424
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:04 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (credit freeze).

We've followed this since the legislation was changed. See: Free to freeze and unfreeze your credit report

In that thread, I calculated that the law would go into effect on September 20, 2018 (next Thursday). Was I off by a day?
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

drk
Posts: 716
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:33 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by drk » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:08 pm

shelanman wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:44 pm
Wouldn't it be great if the news reported the facts instead of the conclusion you're supposed to draw from them?
This is a column called "Your Money Adviser".

EddyB
Posts: 532
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 3:43 pm

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by EddyB » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:56 pm

drk wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:08 pm
shelanman wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:44 pm
Wouldn't it be great if the news reported the facts instead of the conclusion you're supposed to draw from them?
This is a column called "Your Money Adviser".
In any case, the only opinion ventured by the author seems to be “[c]hecking your credit report periodically is also wise.” The article does report the facts that certain consumer advocates suggest particular courses of action, and that certain researchers have made various findings. Pretty sure that’s how news reporting is supposed to work.

tj
Posts: 2110
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by tj » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:59 pm

Maybe it already is free? I was able to unfreeze mine last week and I wasn't charged.

MindBogler
Posts: 633
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:05 pm

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by MindBogler » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:24 pm

I lost interest in the article immediately upon reading the title. This modern day practice of describing one's premise in the title of an article is nothing more than a dog whistle for those who cannot think crtically for themselves.

drk
Posts: 716
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:33 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by drk » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:38 pm

tj wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:59 pm
Maybe it already is free? I was able to unfreeze mine last week and I wasn't charged.
It also depends on the state. Washington State residents have been able to freeze/unfreeze for free since June 7.

User avatar
HueyLD
Posts: 5956
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:30 am

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by HueyLD » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:42 am

LadyGeek wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:04 pm
This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (credit freeze).

We've followed this since the legislation was changed. See: Free to freeze and unfreeze your credit report

In that thread, I calculated that the law would go into effect on September 20, 2018 (next Thursday). Was I off by a day?
LG,

May 24 was a Thursday. And 120 days includes 17 weeks and one day. So, 120 days from May 24 falls on Friday, 9/21.

Isn't math fun? :)

User avatar
damjam
Posts: 937
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:46 am

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by damjam » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:15 am

jehovasfitness wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:43 pm
Froze ours. Then because you have to do 3 separate freezes for each spouse that's 6 logins/passwords.

We were car shopping recently and what a PITA to unfreeze
Sorry to hear that you found the unfreezing process to be burdensome.

Spouse and I froze last year after the Equifax debacle. I've had to unfreeze mine twice since then. Once all three credit reporting companies and another time just one. Didn't seem that bad to me. Both times the unfreeze was for a specified period, so no further effort on my part to refreeze.

I will say that many years ago we had our credit frozen and unfreezing was much less streamlined. Had to do it by letter if I remember correctly.

blevine
Posts: 1925
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:57 pm
Location: Paradise

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by blevine » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:06 pm

If you have your unfreeze pin, the process does not take that long. Did this twice in last few months. One of the big 3 was more difficult than the others, but was able to unfreeze all 3, and have it set for a period so we could go about our business and know it will freeze again without intervention. Unfreeze for a month in case your car deal falls through, and you need time to start again with another dealer. You can unfreeze indefinitely then freeze again when done, but I felt it less work to go through the steps once to unfreeze/refreeze, if you can approximate how long you may need to finalize use of your credit reports.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 47424
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:43 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:42 am
LadyGeek wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:04 pm
This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (credit freeze).

We've followed this since the legislation was changed. See: Free to freeze and unfreeze your credit report

In that thread, I calculated that the law would go into effect on September 20, 2018 (next Thursday). Was I off by a day?
LG,

May 24 was a Thursday. And 120 days includes 17 weeks and one day. So, 120 days from May 24 falls on Friday, 9/21.

Isn't math fun? :)
Thanks. I missed an important word - "after":
(c) Effective Date.—The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date that is 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
The wiki is phrased the same way ("after"), so 2 wrongs make 1 right. :)

See: Credit freeze - Bogleheads (Fees vary by state)
wiki wrote: The Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681c–1) was changed on May 24, 2018. Fees for placing and removing a credit freeze will no longer apply after September 20, 2018
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

GCD
Posts: 536
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:11 pm

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by GCD » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:37 am

To be honest, I find all the advice to freeze your credit highly annoying. My wife and I have had ours frozen since around 2002. The easier and cheaper and more common it is for people to do it the more incentive there is for crooks to overcome it. Right now it is pretty effective. I wonder how long that will last. It's only a matter of time before the credit freeze is no longer an effective tool.

Any ideas on what the next stage of security is? What can be done to separate oneself from the millions of people wising up to the credit freeze? Gotta stay one step ahead don't you know.

It's kind of like driving with your headlights on in the daytime. Once everyone does it you don't stand out anymore. Then you get motorcyclists with weird flashing lights trying to up their visibility in the visibility arms race. This is just a security arms race and now the masses are going to freeze their credit we need to move on to the next level.

Any suggestions?

denovo
Posts: 4305
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by denovo » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:58 am

Anyone know if temp unfreezing is also free?
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

international001
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:31 pm

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by international001 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:35 am

How easy is it to unfreeze it? I like to play the new credit card game to get bonus miles

User avatar
damjam
Posts: 937
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:46 am

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by damjam » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:34 am

international001 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:35 am
How easy is it to unfreeze it? I like to play the new credit card game to get bonus miles
Unfreezing is simple. Probably too simple as GCD alluded to.

When you freeze (which can often be done online, but not always) you receive a PIN for unfreezing.
Obviously keep the PIN safe.

When you need to unfreeze you go to their website or call a number provided and follow the prompts. Takes only a few minutes for each credit reporting company.

Earlier this year, when I needed to unfreeze a single credit reporting company to open a new utility type of account, I was able to unfreeze immediately and call the same day to the utility and open the account. I only unfroze for the one day. I was actually surprised the recent unfreeze was so quick. In the past the unfreeze was not so immediate and sometimes required writing a letter.
If your doing something like shopping for a car, mortgage, or applying for CCs you'll probably need to unfreeze for a more extended amount of time.

JBTX
Posts: 3889
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by JBTX » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:45 am

damjam wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:34 am
international001 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:35 am
How easy is it to unfreeze it? I like to play the new credit card game to get bonus miles
Unfreezing is simple. Probably too simple as GCD alluded to.

When you freeze (which can often be done online, but not always) you receive a PIN for unfreezing.
Obviously keep the PIN safe.

When you need to unfreeze you go to their website or call a number provided and follow the prompts. Takes only a few minutes for each credit reporting company.

Earlier this year, when I needed to unfreeze a single credit reporting company to open a new utility type of account, I was able to unfreeze immediately and call the same day to the utility and open the account. I only unfroze for the one day. I was actually surprised the recent unfreeze was so quick. In the past the unfreeze was not so immediate and sometimes required writing a letter.
If your doing something like shopping for a car, mortgage, or applying for CCs you'll probably need to unfreeze for a more extended amount of time.
If you apply for a credit card, and your credit is frozen, does cc contact you? How? Do they tell you which reporting agency they are using?

User avatar
HueyLD
Posts: 5956
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:30 am

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by HueyLD » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:48 am

Yes, the cc company will send you a letter with a dedicated number to call.

You call that number and ask them which credit bureau they use.

User avatar
damjam
Posts: 937
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:46 am

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by damjam » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:22 pm

JBTX wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:45 am
damjam wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:34 am
international001 wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:35 am
How easy is it to unfreeze it? I like to play the new credit card game to get bonus miles
Unfreezing is simple. Probably too simple as GCD alluded to.

When you freeze (which can often be done online, but not always) you receive a PIN for unfreezing.
Obviously keep the PIN safe.

When you need to unfreeze you go to their website or call a number provided and follow the prompts. Takes only a few minutes for each credit reporting company.

Earlier this year, when I needed to unfreeze a single credit reporting company to open a new utility type of account, I was able to unfreeze immediately and call the same day to the utility and open the account. I only unfroze for the one day. I was actually surprised the recent unfreeze was so quick. In the past the unfreeze was not so immediate and sometimes required writing a letter.
If your doing something like shopping for a car, mortgage, or applying for CCs you'll probably need to unfreeze for a more extended amount of time.
If you apply for a credit card, and your credit is frozen, does cc contact you? How? Do they tell you which reporting agency they are using?
I would imagine you could call and ask even before you apply. That's what I did when I got the utility hook up.

User avatar
celia
Posts: 8209
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by celia » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:24 pm

This is not news. We froze our accounts several years ago, for free.

okayplayer
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:26 pm

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by okayplayer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:29 pm

Do you all recommend freezing your credit for your kids (age 5,3,1)? Any reason to/not to?

SchruteB&B
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:48 am

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by SchruteB&B » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:43 pm

celia wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:24 pm
This is not news. We froze our accounts several years ago, for free.
How nice that you had that option.
I do think it is news, as I live in a state where there was a charge to freeze, and unfreeze. Every time.

FireProof
Posts: 557
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 12:15 pm

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by FireProof » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:48 pm

okayplayer wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:29 pm
Do you all recommend freezing your credit for your kids (age 5,3,1)? Any reason to/not to?
Do babies have credit reports?

NoHeat
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:13 am

Re: New York Times--NYTimes: Freezing Credit Will Now Be Free. Here’s Why You Should Go for It.

Post by NoHeat » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:21 pm

FireProof wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:48 pm
okayplayer wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:29 pm
Do you all recommend freezing your credit for your kids (age 5,3,1)? Any reason to/not to?
Do babies have credit reports?
Not normally, but they can if an identity thief applies for credit in the baby's name, and this does actually happen:

https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-expe ... t-for-this

excerpt:

criminals find stealing a child's identity so tempting: It's a clean slate and little Jimmy and Jane aren't going to notice—and it might be a long time before parents or caregivers catch on.

Thieves can use that time to establish bogus addresses and bank accounts in your child's name, before ultimately borrowing money (opening bogus credit card accounts, utility service accounts, financing a vehicle etc.), and then disappearing, leaving unpaid bills as a black mark on your child's credit history.

According to the latest Data Breach report by the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission fielded nearly 14,000 complaints of identity theft affecting children and teens (age 19 and under) in 2017, and there's a good chance many more cases haven't yet been detected.

Post Reply