Lifting a Security Freeze
When you want to take out a loan, get a new credit card or apply for a job or for certain services, you can temporarily lift (or “thaw”) your security freezes. You will use the PINs or passwords you received when you established your security freezes.
Procedures for lifting a security freeze vary from one credit bureau to another. Keep the information that came with your PINs or passwords, and refer to it when you want to lift that credit bureau’s freeze.
Lifting a Security Freeze
When you ask for a security freeze to be lifted, you tell the credit bureau how long you want your credit report to be available. In most instances a week is usually enough time for a business, credit card issuer, or potential employer to check your report. If you can find out which credit bureau they use, you only need to lift your freeze with that particular credit bureau. If not, you will need to lift all three of your security freezes.
Removing a Security Freeze Permanently
When you ask that a security freeze be removed, you are telling the credit bureau that you no longer want to have your credit report frozen. Once the freeze is removed, you will have to request a new freeze if you decide you want your credit frozen again at a later date.
How Long Does it Take to Lift or Remove a Security Freeze?
Credit bureaus must comply with an online or telephone request to lift or remove a security freeze within one hour. Credit bureaus have up to three business days to comply with a written request to lift or remove a security freeze after they receive the request by mail.If You Forget to Lift Your Freeze
If you forget to lift your security freezes before you apply for credit, a creditor who requests your file will see a message that the reports are frozen. This can delay your application for credit. The creditor may remind you that the security freeze is in place and allow time for you to have it lifted.
How to Lift or Remove Security Freezes Online
To establish your security freezes, you will need to contact each of the three credit bureaus online:
(Note: the links above will take you to the websites for the three credit bureaus. These sites are separate from www.ncdoj.gov.)
Be prepared to provide detailed information about yourself, including:
- Your Full Name
- Your Address
- Your Date of Birth
- Your Social Security Number
- Your Security Freeze PIN or password for each credit bureau
(Note: The credit bureaus already have this information in their files. You will be providing it to verify your identity.)