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COVID + Credit: Unemployment and the Covid Pandemic
What to know if you’ve recently found yourself permanently or temporarily out of work because of COVID-19.
Placing, lifting and removing a security freeze is free. You can place, temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze on your Equifax credit report in several ways.
- Online, by creating a myEquifax account. You can check the status of your security freeze through your myEquifax account as well.
- By phone. Call us at (888) 298-0045. You’ll be required to give certain information to verify your identity. You'll also have the option to receive a one-time PIN by text message or answer questions based on information in your Equifax credit report for identity verification.
- By mail. Please download this form for instructions and mailing address. If you are requesting to temporarily lift or permanently remove a security freeze via mail, you’ll need to provide documents to validate your identity and address. Read more about acceptable documents here. After we receive the request and verify your identity, you will receive confirmation.
To place, temporarily lift or permanently remove a security freeze on your Experian or TransUnion credit reports, please contact them directly.
To learn more about the difference between a security freeze and a credit report lock, click here.
Placing a fraud alert on your credit reports is free. Click here to place an initial one-year fraud alert or active duty alert on your Equifax credit report online by creating a myEquifax account. Once your fraud alert or active duty alert is placed, you can also check its status through myEquifax.
You can contact any of the three nationwide credit bureaus to request an initial fraud alert or active duty alert. Once you have placed an initial fraud alert or active duty alert on your credit report with one of the bureaus, that bureau will send a request to the other two bureaus to do the same, so you do not have to contact all three.
You can also request an initial one-year fraud alert or active duty alert:
- By calling: 1-800-525-6285; or
- By downloading this form for an initial fraud alert or an active duty alert and mailing it or submitting a written request to:
Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348-5069
If you have been a victim of identity theft and have a police and/or identity theft report (available at www.identitytheft.gov), you have the right to request a seven-year extended fraud alert on your credit reports. To submit your request, please download and follow the instructions on the Extended Fraud Alert form.
If you see information on your credit reports you believe is incomplete or inaccurate, a good first step is to contact the lender or creditor directly. This is especially helpful if the information involves your name or address. Updating your personal information with lenders and creditors can help ensure the information reported to the three nationwide credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – is correct.
If you need to dispute information with the credit bureaus, the fastest way to do so is online. You’ll need to file a dispute separately with each credit bureau.
You can file a dispute on the following sites:
- Equifax: www.myequifax.com. New users will first need to create an account. Existing users can log in using their current credentials.
- Experian: www.experian.com
- TransUnion: www.transunion.com
To assist with your dispute, you may need to upload documents. Please click here to review documents that may be helpful and, at times, required.
Most dispute investigations are completed within 30 days, and you will receive a notification once your investigation is complete.
Click here if you would prefer to dispute information via mail or phone.
To learn more about how the dispute process works, please click here.
There are several ways you can get free credit reports.
- Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get a free copy of your credit reports every week from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) - available through April, 2021.
- Create a myEquifax account to get free Equifax credit reports.
- From your myEquifax account, you can also click "get my free credit score" to enroll in Equifax Core Credit™ and get a free monthly Equifax credit report and a free monthly VantageScore credit score based on Equifax data. A VantageScore is one of many types of credit scores.
For www.annualcreditreport.com, you can also order credit reports by phone or mail:
- Phone: Call (877) 322-8228. You will go through an identity verification process over the phone, and your Equifax credit report will be mailed to you within 15 days.
- Mail: Download the annual credit report request form (requires an Adobe viewer). Print and complete the form, and mail the completed form to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Your Equifax credit report will be mailed to you within 15 days.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's website has additional information on free credit reports.
A security freeze is one step you can take to help prevent access to your Equifax credit report to open new credit accounts, with certain exceptions.
Security freezes are federally regulated, and a security freeze must be temporarily lifted or permanently removed each time you apply for new credit. Click here to learn more about how to place, temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze on your credit reports.
Placing, temporarily lifting and permanently removing a security freeze (also known as a credit freeze) on your Equifax credit report is free.
To freeze your credit reports at the other two nationwide credit bureaus, you will need to contact Experian (www.experian.com/freeze) and TransUnion (freeze.transunion.com).
A fraud alert is a notice on your credit report that alerts creditors you may be a victim of fraud, including identity theft. A fraud alert can make it harder for someone to open unauthorized accounts in your name. It encourages lenders and creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity, such as contacting you by phone, before opening a new credit account in your name or making changes to existing accounts.
There are two types of fraud alerts you can place on your credit report, and both are free.
• Initial fraud alert: If you believe you are or may become a victim of fraud or identity theft, you may place an initial fraud alert on your credit report. An initial fraud alert remains on your credit report for one year, unless you choose to remove it sooner, and can be renewed for additional one-year periods.
• Extended fraud alert: If you have a police report or a Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Report showing you’re a victim of identity theft, you may place an extended fraud alert on your credit report. An extended fraud alert remains on your credit report for seven years unless you choose to remove it sooner. Click here for the extended fraud alert form.
You can contact any of the three nationwide credit bureaus to request a fraud alert. Once you have you placed a fraud alert on your credit report with one of the bureaus, that bureau will send a request to the other two bureaus to do the same, so you do not have to contact all three.
To place a fraud alert on your Equifax credit report, click here.
To learn about the difference between fraud alerts and security freezes, click here.
Credit monitoring from Experian and TransUnion will take several days to begin.
Internet scanning will scan for your Social Security number (if you choose to), up to 5 bank account numbers, up to 6 credit/debit card numbers that you provide, up to 3 email addresses, up to 10 medical ID numbers, and up to 5 passport numbers. Internet Scanning scans thousands of Internet sites where consumers' personal information is suspected of being bought and sold, and is constantly adding new sites to those it searches. However, the Internet addresses of these suspected Internet trading sites are not published and frequently change, so there is no guarantee that we are able to locate and search every possible Internet site where consumers' personal information is at risk of being traded.
We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up. We will immediately charge your card the price stated and will charge the card the price stated for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
In connection with various settlements, Equifax is making at least six additional free Equifax credit reports each year available online to U.S. consumers on annualcreditreport.com until December 31, 2026. These reports are included in the free weekly Equifax credit reports currently offered on annualcreditreport.com through April 2021.