Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Why You May NOT Want to Freeze Your Credit

This just in: Reasons to Rethink Freezing Your Credit During ID Fraud Scare

Here are some reasons you may want to consider for any stories you might be planning around tax season:

• If you do put a freeze on your credit report it can take up to a month for the credit bureaus to do the unfreeze
• During a freeze, all credit cards are frozen
• Your debit card may also be impacted
• Consumers may need to go to a cash lifestyle even to pay bills
• All of your automated bill payments are then frozen and that can negatively impact your credit even further if or when you miss payments
• The Federal Trade Commission warns that tax ID theft, the most common form of identity theft, is a bigger problem than any one company.
• The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday that tax-related identity theft is on the rise. In 2014, the IRS conducted over 1,000 identity theft-related investigations. There were also 748 sentencings connected to identity theft crimes, representing an increase of 75 percent over 2013.

"Once you freeze your credit report, it takes a long time to unfreeze it and you may have to live off liquid assets in the meantime," said Brian Richards, ID Theft Expert at Protect Your Bubble. "Only wait until there has been an activity reported against you specifically before you actually put a freeze on your credit report. It's difficult to dictate the timing of the freeze or unfreeze and that places added stress on consumers to maintain bill payment or have access to credit."

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