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North Carolina Department of Justice
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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 pushed by Attorney General Roy Cooper. 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 now get a free security freeze online, thanks to a change in the 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. 

 

Protect Your Child's Credit, Too

If you're a parent or guardian, check to see if your child has a credit report. Contact the credit bureaus with proof of the child's identity and your relationship to the child.  If a credit report exists in your child’s name, the credit bureau has to take “reasonable efforts” to make sure it doesn’t provide the report to anyone until the child becomes an adult.


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