This Week: Phone numbers and websites to help you freeze your credit… How much it will cost you… Using a stun gun on a dog… And, how to get the Escape Bag Blueprint report.
After sharing my story about my information being stolen by the Chinese, I’ve had a lot of readers ask me about how exactly to freeze your credit so I’m going to give you the step-by-step directions today.
How does a credit freeze work?
First, a credit freeze blocks companies from running your credit without you first notifying the credit reporting agencies to allow them access. In other words, unless you give a company permission, nobody can access your credit so you don’t have to worry about someone buying a car or taking out a mortgage with your credit.
After you request a credit freeze the credit reporting agencies will provide you with a personal identification number (PIN) and you will use this PIN when you need to give someone access to your credit.
Accessing your credit is easy and when you do need someone legitimate to check your credit you can release the freeze for a temporary amount of time. This is done by calling the following numbers and using your PIN: 888-909-8872 for Transunion, 888-397-3742 for Experian, and 800-685-1111 for Equifax.
Every state charges different fees for placing a freeze on your credit. It can range from being free to $10. Here is the link to each credit agency that shows how much it will cost in your state for a security freeze:
How do you freeze your credit?
To place a security freeze and freeze your credit you must contact all three major credit-reporting agencies, which, as noted above, are Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.
You can complete the application following the links above or send a certified letter requesting to have a security freeze placed on your credit. It is very simple and short.
Here is what I would send to all three agencies:
Dear AGENCY NAME,
I would like to place a security freeze on my credit file. My name is:
My former name was (if applicable):
My current address is:
My former address was:
My social security number is:
My date of birth is:
I have enclosed photocopies of a government issued ID and proof of residence. (Utility bill, etc.)
I have included a police report verifying my identity has been stolen (if applicable).
I have included a check for the fee of $X.XX.
You will need to send this letter, documents, and check to all three of the credit reporting agencies at the addresses below:
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, Georgia 30348
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
After you have sent all three agencies a certified letter (or apply online) they will respond to your request, usually within 10 business days, with a confirmation letter of your security freeze. Each credit agency will also provide you with the PIN number that you use in the future when you need access to your credit history.
I realize some people may think this sounds like a lot of work… But just imagine how many hours you could spend on the phone undoing the damage of someone who had hacked your credit and purchased a boat or house or worse.
In other words, a little bit of work now will be much better than a huge headache later if someone hacks your credit, which is why I’ve personally had a credit freeze for about 15 years now.
From David W: Jason, I too received the letter from OPM regarding our data being stolen and plan no trips to the more interesting places in the world today! Your comment about credit freezing hit home and I was thinking it would be a great service to your readers if you gave some instruction on how to do it. I know you can’t be all things to all people, so it was just a thought.
Answer: I hope that today’s article helps and I definitely encourage you to freeze your credit as soon as possible.
From Dave P: When I signed up for the personal protection alliance I thought I was going to be sent a complete list of items and where to procure them for an escape bag . I haven’t received anything. Thanks and Happy Holidays.
Answer: When you login to the members only site, go to the Special Reports tab and you will see The Escape Bag Blueprint: 37 Items You Must Have to Survive a Crisis. This report tells you exactly what you need to build the perfect bag. (Click here if you would like access to this report.)
From Bob M: What would a stun gun do to a dog? When I walk my dog in the City we are sometimes harassed by one or more unleashed dogs. There is something about a dog on a leash that seems to trigger a pack mentality among some unleashed dogs.
Answer: I really don’t know that answer. I have never shocked a dog nor have I ever seen someone else do it. But from the way us humans react I imagine the dog will get the clue not to mess with you.
From Rod S: Great information you placed in this issue. Not saying the previous were any less valuable, but let’s just say you always seem to one-up yourself and keep your “finger on the pulse” of current happenings.
Answer: Thank you, I appreciate that. I put a lot of work into always trying to give you the most valuable information as possible.
From Shawn S: Hi, I ordered a gun belt and received it 1 to 2 weeks ago (and love it). But I received another one yesterday that I did not order and I have not seen a charge for it. What would you like me to do? Send it back or I can go ahead and purchase it? Please let me know.
Answer: It sounds like someone in my shipping department made an error. Go ahead and keep the second belt on us since we made the mistake. (Click here if you don’t own the Escape & Evasion Gun Belt yet.)