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Beleaguered credit agency promises new, free service

30 Septembre 2017

Since the Equifax data breach, there has been lots of great advice from experts on how important a credit freeze is to protect yourself and your identity.

This data breach has put millions of people's information at risk, exposing names, addresses, birth dates, and Social Security numbers.

So what should consumers do?

Cordray called for expanded powers to cover data security to prevent breaches and suggested placing monitors inside credit reporting firms, borrowing a tactic from the regulatory regime for banks.

There are two types of fraud alerts. When someone has stolen your identity, they have the means to try to buy a home under your name, max out your stolen credit cards, and/or use your Social Security number to open new cards and accumulate debt. After 90 days, the initial fraud alert will expire and be removed, and you can place another one if you want. That makes it far more significant than Equifax's previous offer for one free year of credit monitoring, or its promise to waive the fee to freeze your credit through the end of January.

Federal laws give the CFPB the power to supervise and examine large credit-reporting firms to ensure the quality of information they provide. That's not the case with the credit-reporting agencies. If potential creditors can not see your credit report, they may not extend new credit.

If you Google "TransUnion credit freeze", (and avoid the paid listings at the top of the search page) you can find their elusive credit freeze page. The company will also extend the sign-up period for TrustedID Premier, the free credit-monitoring service it's offering all US consumers. Additionally, as Lieber adds, freezes are subject to state laws. The service would be offered free of charge for life, he said.

Equifax announced the breach publicly on September 7.

Last week it was leaked that Equifax knew about this breach five months before they announced it publicly.

But Payne soon discovered that signing up for a credit freeze is not as easy as it first seems. When a thief tries to take out new credit, a business can pull your credit report from any of the three major credit bureaus.

"We think this will alleviate concerns that consumers freezing their credit access from the bureaus will slow loan origination growth and increase customer acquisition costs", Caintic said.

If securing your passwords seems too hard, then freezing your credit or even setting up a fraud alert to protect against the chance of identity theft will definitely give you a headache. Previous apologies for exposing millions of consumers' data to hackers have been risible and ineffective.

Beleaguered credit agency promises new, free service