Visit our new website:

The Cost of Freezing My Credit Reports

  • Thu, 14 Sep 2017 03:28

Experian: took two minutes, cost me $ 11.01.

Innovis: took two minutes, cost me $ 0.00.

ChexSystems: took two minutes, cost me $ 0.00. (ChexSystems freezes your consumer report, “which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing any information in your consumer file without your expressed authorization.” You’ll need your driver license number for this one, so make sure it’s close at hand. Not sure what you do if you don’t have a driver license.)

TransUnion: UGH. Okay.

So when you click “credit freeze” in the drop-down menu on TransUnion’s website, you learn that TransUnion wants you to “lock your credit file by enrolling in TrueIdentity,” which is not the same thing as freezing your credit report. Even when you scroll down and click the link to no, really truly freeze my credit report, it sends you to another screen that essentially says “but wouldn’t you rather enroll in TrueIdentity?”

No, TransUnion, I would not.

After clicking the third I told you I want to freeze my credit report link, I learn that I need to create an account first. This account requires a password, and it’s one of those deals where they don’t tell you what the password requirements are before you start, but then they reject the first several passwords you try because they don’t fit the requirements.

Also, every time they reject your password they re-activate the button that says you want email and special offers from TransUnion, and you have to unclick it even though you already unclicked it four times. It makes me think they hid the password requirement info on purpose just so they could collect more email addresses.

Anyway, once you do all of that stuff you can actually request a credit report freeze, and in my case they asked me to confirm my sister’s address before I did it, just to prove I was who I claimed to be—which was CREEPY AF—and then finally, finally, finally

I got an error message and a request to try again later.

I am not very happy with TransUnion right now.

Equifax: As most of you who have tried to do this already know, once you enter your sensitive information into the Equifax security freeze form, it returns an error message. Where did my information go? Who knows? (It’s probably hanging out with the information I gave TransUnion.)

I also signed up with OptOutPrescreen, as per Brian Krebs’ advice. (Krebs is the security expert who snatched up after Equifax mistakenly told people—via Twitter reply—that it was where to go to freeze your credit report for free.) The idea is that if you sign up for OptOutPrescreen, hackers can’t get prescreened credit offers in your name.

You might remember that I already signed up for OptOutPrescreen this spring, but I still regularly get prescreened credit and insurance offers. Maybe signing up twice is the right move!

Total cost: $ 11.01

Total time commitment: 20 minutes (10 minutes for Experian, Innovis, ChexSystems, Equifax, and OptOutPrescreen combined; 10 minutes for TransUnion)

The Billfold


Harvard Business Review

Related Stories

To Get Tax Reform Right, Treat Credit Unions Like Banks
  • Thu, 21 Sep 2017 18:27

Credit unions don't need their tax-exempt status any more. U.S. News - Opinion

Start Complaining
  • Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:38

Photo credit: Blake Burkhart, CC BY 2.0. Years ago, when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jack—the husband of my friend and co-worker Gladys...

Chrysler Denies Reports Of A Hellcat-Powered 300
  • Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:57

Shortly after rumors surfaced that Chrysler was working on a Hellcat-powered 300 variant, a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles spokesman has ruled out the poss...

You Can Return Amazon Products to Kohl’s Now
  • Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:34

Photo credit: Mike Mozart, CC BY 2.0. Like most of us, I’ve returned the occasional item to Amazon—and although it isn’t a particularly ...

2017 Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer: MD Ride Review (Bike Reports) (News)
  • Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:39

Moto Guzzi doesn’t offer new engine displacements very often, so it was a bit of a surprise when the V9 models (displacing 850cc) were announced...

Every Job I’ve Ever Had: Waitress, Tech Support, Disney Receptionist
  • Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:33

Photo credit: Anna Fox, CC BY 2.0. Waitress For my junior prom I had my heart set on a $ 350 dress that my parents rightfully didn’t want to buy. S...

Ackman targets retail investors in ADP proxy contest
  • Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:29

BOSTON (Reuters) - Billionaire hedge fund manager William Ackman, whose firm owns an 8.3 percent stake in Automatic Data Processing Inc , is turning u...

Guess Who’s Ruining the Stock Market?
  • Thu, 21 Sep 2017 08:37

Today, in “maybe every opinion doesn’t need to be shared,” we have a MarketWatch op-ed titled “The masses are going all-in for...

Unwinding QE: The case against shrinking the Fed’s balance-sheet
  • Thu, 21 Sep 2017 07:38

Main image:  AS EXPECTED, the Federal Reserve announced on September 20th that...

Ryanair pilots reject bonus to work through cancellation crisis
  • Thu, 21 Sep 2017 06:31

Pilots had been offered cash to work extra days after the airline was forced to cancel thousands of flights. BBC News - Business

Inside the free-agency frenzy that almost cost the Warriors a Finals MVP
  • Thu, 21 Sep 2017 04:07

Inside the free-agency frenzy that almost cost the Warriors a Finals MVP - NBA

U.S. expects Madoff $4 billion fund payout to start this year
  • Thu, 21 Sep 2017 00:33

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. government expects this year to begin payouts from a $ 4 billion fund for Bernard Madoff's victims, ending their nearly...

News Categories