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
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.
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.
Credit Report Lock
Credit report locks are mobile-enabled and use usernames and passwords for authentication.
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
How to Lock or Freeze
Your Equifax credit report
How to Lock Your
Equifax credit report
- Enroll in Lock & Alert by downloading the mobile app or by visiting: www.equifax.com/lockandalert
- Sign in to Lock & Alert and click or swipe to lock or unlock your Equifax credit report
How to Freeze Your
Equifax credit report
- 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
- Provide the personal information required to verify your identity
- Freeze and unfreeze your Equifax credit report by repeating the steps above with your PIN