Wise consumers recognize the value of good credit and just how quickly a favorable credit record can be damaged by swift and untoward actions of unsavory characters. When scammers have an easy time of accessing a credit report, it’s easier for them to open fraudulent credit lines in the names of their victims. A credit freeze makes it more difficult for the bad guy to gain access to your credit report.
July 1, 2018 – Credit Report Freeze Fee Bill is now law
It was customary in the past for credit reporting agencies to charge consumers a $10 fee to put a freeze on their credit report. In an effort to reduce fraudulent activity, that expense has been eliminated. The Credit Report Freeze Fee Bill is a new law in Florida that became effective July 1, 2018. It does away with the $10 fee for this service. In addition, the law also eliminates the fee for paperwork requirements for victims of identity theft.
A credit freeze is one way to stay a step ahead of the scammer. Credit monitoring is another way. Regularly examining your credit reports helps keep your finger on your credit pulse.
By law, all consumers are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies – Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian. We recommend consumers order one report at a time. Reports can be ordered at no expense to the consumer from www.annualcreditreport.com.
Order the first report from the first credit reporting agency. Four months later order the second report from the next agency, and four months later order the third credit report from the third agency. When four months have gone by from the day that third report was ordered, a full year will have passed from when the first report was ordered. You are now ready to order that annual credit report from the first credit reporting agency and so on and so on.
Check your credit report every four months.
It does not matter what order you pull your reports. Just be sure to keep pace with the four month check-up. If you find inaccurate or fraudulent information on your report, notify each of the three credit reporting agencies and also the issuer of the account in question. By putting a freeze on their credit report and conducting self-checks every four months, a consumer helps reduce or even eliminate fraudulent activity in their name.