This fact sheet is for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice or as policy of the State of New Hampshire. If you want advice on a particular case, you should consult an attorney or other expert.
To place a freeze, you must write to each of the three credit bureaus. Write by certified mail to the addresses below:
Equifax Security Freeze
PO Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
Experian Security Freeze
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion Security Freeze
PO Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
And include the following information:
Yes. If you want to open a new credit account or get a new loan, you can lift the freeze on your credit file. You can lift it for a period of time. Or you can lift it for a specific creditor. After you send your letter asking for the freeze, each of the credit bureaus will send you a Personal Identification Number (PIN) within 10 business days of receiving the request. You will also get instructions on how to lift the freeze. You can lift the freeze by phone, using your PIN. The credit bureaus must lift your freeze within three days. The fee for lifting the freeze temporarily is $10.
A fraud alert is a special message on the report that a credit issuer receives when checking a consumer's credit rating. It tells the credit issuer that there may be fraud involved in the account. A fraud alert can help protect you against identity theft. A fraud alert can also slow down your ability to get new credit. It should not stop you from using your existing credit cards or other accounts. "A security freeze means that your credit file cannot be seen by potential creditors or employers doing background checks – unless you give your consent. Most businesses will not open credit accounts without first checking a consumer's credit history.
Credit bureaus must place the freeze no later than five business days after receiving your written request.
Credit bureaus must lift a freeze no later than three business days after receiving your request.
A creditor will see a message or a code indicating that the file is frozen.
No. A creditor who requests your file from one of the three credit bureaus will only get a message or a code indicating that the file is frozen.
When you have a security freeze on your credit file, certain entities still have access to it. Your report can still be released to your existing creditors or to collection agencies acting on their behalf. They can use it to review or collect on your account. Other creditors may also use your information to make offers of credit-unless you opt out of receiving such offers. See below for how to opt out of pre-approved credit offers. Government agencies may have access for collecting child support payments or taxes or for investigating Medicaid fraud. Government agencies may also have access in response to a court or administrative order, a subpoena, or a search warrant.
Yes. Different credit issuers may use different credit bureaus. If you want to stop your credit file from being viewed, you need to freeze it with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
No. You would have to lift the freeze to allow a background check or to apply for insurance, just as you would to apply for credit. You would have to lift the freeze to allow a background check just as you would to apply for credit.
No. You can stop the pre-approved credit offers by calling 888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688). Or you can do this online at www.optoutprescreen.com. This will stop most of the offers, the ones that go through the credit bureaus. It's good for five years or you can make it permanent.
Yes. Both spouses have to freeze their separate credit files, via separate letters requesting the freeze, in order to get the benefit.
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New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301