A security freeze and credit report lock are both ways to help limit unauthorized access to your credit report, but they don't work in exactly the same way. Learn more about the differences between locking and freezing your Equifax credit report, which can help you determine if either is right for you, and also learn how to lock or freeze your Equifax credit report.



Lock or Freeze

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Why lock or freeze
your credit report?

Security freezes and credit report locks help you control who can access your credit reports – without impacting your credit scores.

This can help you restrict other people from trying to use your information to open credit cards, apply for loans, or get mortgages in your name.

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What are the differences
between locking and freezing your Equifax credit report?

At their most basic, a credit report lock and a security freeze both generally prevent unauthorized access to your credit report to open new credit accounts. But they don't work in exactly the same way. Here is some information to help you decide which is right for you.

Lock

Credit Report Lock

Credit report locks are mobile-enabled and use usernames and passwords for authentication.

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Security Freeze

Security freezes, also known as credit freezes, use a PIN-based system for authentication.

 

Credit report locks are free on your Equifax credit report by enrolling in Lock & Alert™

 

Quickly lock or unlock your Equifax credit report in our mobile app or online, with a simple swipe or click

 

You will need your username and password to verify your identity when you want to lock and unlock

 

Options to lock your credit report may also be available at the two other major credit bureaus

 

Costs are regulated by state law and range from $0 to $10 per freeze and/or unfreeze action (freezing/unfreezing at Equifax is free until further notice)

 

Freezing or unfreezing can be done online, by phone, or by mail

 

You will need a PIN to verify your identity when you want to freeze or unfreeze your credit report

 

Freezes must be separately placed, lifted and/or removed with each of the three major credit bureaus

 

If you lose your PIN, you will need to contact the credit bureau where you placed the security freeze to verify your identity and receive a new PIN

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When applying for credit you will need to remove a freeze,
or unlock your credit report, to provide lenders access

How to Lock or Freeze
Your Equifax credit report

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How to Lock Your
Equifax credit report

  1. Enroll in Lock & Alert by downloading the mobile app or by visiting: www.equifax.com/lockandalert
  2. Sign in to Lock & Alert and click or swipe to lock or unlock your Equifax credit report
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How to Freeze Your
Equifax credit report

  1. Visit www.freeze.equifax.com
    Or call 800-685-1111
    (NY residents, call 800-349-9960)
    Or mail a freeze request to:
    Equifax Security Freeze
    P.O. Box 105788
    Atlanta, Georgia 30348
  2. Provide the personal information required to verify your identity
  3. Freeze and unfreeze your Equifax credit report by repeating the steps above with your PIN
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Lock and Alert Logo

Help control who has access to your Equifax® credit report. It's free.

Equifax is helping put you in control of your Equifax credit report. With Lock & Alert, you can quickly and easily lock and unlock your Equifax credit report with a click or swipe, and we’ll send a confirmation alert.1

  1. Locking your Equifax credit file will prevent access to it by certain third parties. Locking your Equifax credit file will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency. Entities that may still have access to your Equifax credit file include: companies like Equifax Global Consumer Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score, or monitor your credit file; federal, state, and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com.