Freeze Your Credit
What Is a Security Freeze?
A “security freeze” is a consumer right provided by North Carolina law, enacted as part of the Identity Theft Protection Act of 2005
. Placing a security freeze on your credit reports blocks access to your credit unless you have given your permission. This can prevent an identity thief from opening a new account or getting credit in your name.
North Carolina consumers can get a free security freeze
online under NC law
. Identity theft victims who have filed a police report, their spouses, and consumers over the age of 62 can also get free security freezes by mail or phone
A security freeze, also known as a credit or a file freeze, can be lifted (or "thawed") temporarily when you are applying for credit, or removed permanently.
Under a new North Carolina law, parents and guardians can shield their children's credit report with a special Protected Consumer security freeze
. These freezes can also be used to safeguard incapacitated adults.
How a Security Freeze Works
Once you've placed a security freeze on your credit, a creditor who asks to see your file will see a message that your file is frozen. The creditor will not see your credit score, and may treat your application as incomplete but not rejected.
Government agencies collecting child support payments or taxes and your existing creditors or collection agencies acting on their behalf can continue to access your credit despite the freeze.
Other creditors may also use your information to offer you pre-approved credit. You can stop most credit offers by calling (888) 5-OPT-OUT or visiting www.optoutprescreen.com.