Freezing your credit account can save you from meeting with any identity theft or other criminal activities paired with your credit report. Though, freezing your credit means you won’t be able to access your credit while online shopping or proceeding with loans or mortgages, and that’s when an unfreezing credit report comes into action. While, how to unfreeze credit is one of the common concerns of many individuals, this guide is dedicated to outlining detailed factors to help you secure your credit reports and unfreeze whenever you wish for.
You can create a credit account with 3 bureaus online to freeze and unfreeze your credit report with a simplified procedure. And, the exciting perk includes unfreezing credit for free. Whether you're looking for a loan, opening a new credit card, or applying for a new job your employer will sometimes need access to your credit as their standard hiring procedure. In such circumstances, being well-versed with the regulations and process of lifting credit is important for a specified time.
Let us walk you through different factors to assist you in understanding how to unfreeze your credit.
- How to unfreeze credit
- Freezing vs unfreezing credit
- Perks of unfreezing credit
- Unfreezing credit procedure with 3 Bureaus
- How long does it take to unfreeze credit?
- Credit score vs credit reports
- How to unfreeze your credit temporarily vs permanently?
- Reason to unfreeze your credit
- Warp up
- How to Unfreeze Credit?
- Freezing vs Unfreezing Credit
- Perks of unfreezing credit
- Unfreezing Credit Procedure with 3 Bureaus
- How long Does it Take to Unfreeze Credit?
- Credit Score vs Credit Reports
- How to Unfreeze Your Credit Temporarily vs Permanently?
- Reason to Unfreeze Your Credit
- Wrap Up
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Unfreeze Credit?
If you have activated a freeze to your credit to protect yourself from an unusual theft-like situation with a credit report, then you may also need to unfreeze your credit while making a few online payments, proceeding with loans, mortgages, and similar procedures. Though, to allow credit checks to lenders or creditors you will have a credit account which is done in minimal time and very easily.
Though the question arises, how do I unfreeze my credit? To begin with, you need to coordinate with all 3 credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax meet with their requirements for freezing or unfreezing accounts online. Though, you can opt to unfreeze your credit by speaking with each bureau individually via mail or contacting their customer service departments.
Additionally, if you are a parent or a guardian then you can choose to freeze or unfreeze your child’s credit report following the similar process of freezing credit reports of adults. However, you need to unfreeze your credit at all the 3 bureaus individually, until you are aware of which credit bureau a creditor is accessing to analyze your credit check. And based on that you can lift your credit for once or temporarily to surpass the procedure.
You can choose to unfreeze your credit permanently, but experts do not recommend that as no offer matches the protection of your credit account via a freezing alternative. On the other hand, lifting your credit reports temporarily is a much better and complex-free option as you unlock your account for once or as per your needs than completely unwinding features of identity theft.
If you are not aware of the offerings of a frozen account vs unfreeze, here’s a simplified comparison for your better understanding.
Freezing vs Unfreezing Credit
When you opt for freezing your credit reports at all the 3 bureaus, you are telling them that you don't want anyone to access the sensitive data of your credit reports without confirming your consent. Though there are some exceptions regarding who can have access to your credit reports while your account is frozen.
Though a credit freeze can stay as long as you want, it all depends on when you want to lift your credit. After the 2018 law, freezing and unfreezing credit is free.
Remember, freeze credit does not have any negative impact on your overall credit score, and it won't stop you from getting annual credit reports. However, if you wish to apply for a loan or get a credit card then you will have to unfreeze your credit so that your creditors can check your eligibility for the procedure by checking your credit check. Though, paying your rent does not require unfreezing credit every month.
How to Unfreeze Credit?
As we mentioned above, in a particular circumstance you may realize that you don't want protection from credit freeze. If you are unsure of lifting credit permanently, then you can always opt for a temporary unfreeze option.
However, you will have to contact at least one or all 3 bureaus individually and submit a few documents to complete the process of unfreezing credit. Credit bureaus like TransUnion and Experian will ask you to provide the PIN that you had set earlier.
Once you have communicated with the credit bureau to lift your credit, you may expect to unfreeze your account in some time. If you choose to request by phone or online, then your credit will be unfrozen within an hour. And, if you request through mail then it takes up to 3 business days to successfully lift your credit report.
Perks of unfreezing credit
After understanding, how do I unfreeze my credit? You must be wondering about the perks that these credit bureaus may offer upon lifting your account. And if you are standing in the middle of deciding whether to unfreeze or have a continued freeze credit, you are not alone. Let’s have a closer look at the amazing perks offered to unfreeze your credit reports.
- Allows you to complete your loan or insurance procedure
- Saves you from overspending, as you need to lift credit while online shopping
- You can have continued benefits of credit protection, after following essential financial procedures for a specific time.
- Unfreezing credit consumes very little to no time
- Lifting your credit will not affect your credit score
- If you are applying for a mortgage, you can request to unfreeze credit by mentioning the end date so that you don't have to manually remember the dates.
Unfreezing Credit Procedure with 3 Bureaus
As we mentioned above, to freeze or unfreeze credit you will have to contact 3 bureaus - Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian individually. While an unfreezing method is similar with all bureaus, the requirements may vary significantly. Let’s delve deeper to understand how to unfreeze credit with these bureaus.
How to Unfreeze Experian Credit Report?
Talking about credit bureaus, often individuals have concerns like how to unfreeze Experian credit reports. Don't worry, Experian has simplified the procedure for you. You can schedule a request to lift your credit report with Experian for a specific time as per your need by pre-planning or instantly through a click ( when you request online).
Experian offers you the option of unfreezing credit temporarily or permanently based on your goals and decision. If you opt to lift your credit permanently with Experian, it indicates that your credit file will remain open until you choose to make another credit freeze. And, if you select to unfreeze temporarily, then your creditors will be given access to your credit checks for a decided time horizon.
Contact Options for Experian
Contact No: 888-397-3742.
Mail Address: Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013.
Website Link: Experian
How to Unfreeze Credit with TransUnion?
Unfreezing credit with TransUnion is quite easy and stress-free. You can communicate with the bureau via the service center which may require or ask you to provide a PIN that you set while setting a freeze credit account. Also, you can choose to unfreeze your credit online, by phone, or by mail all you need is to mention your PIN for the correct identification process.
Additionally, you lift your TransUnion credit account temporarily for a specific time or only for selected creditors. Isn’t that convenient and helpful! And, TransUnion offers extra security, whether you freeze or unfreeze your credit, it will stay in that zone until you select a request to make a change.
If you are wondering, what is the TransUnion credit freeze phone number and other contact details? Hold on, we are listing below a few crucial contact details to simplify your unfreezing journey.
Contact Options for TransUnion
Mail Address: TransUnion, P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094.
TransUnion credit freeze phone number: 800-916-8800.
Website Link: TransUnion
How do I Unfreeze my Credit with Equifax?
To unfreeze credit with Equifax online, you need to create a “MyEquifax” account. Though the PIN isn’t required for freezing or unfreezing online, you can always request for this option. Additionally, Equifax gives you the liberty to unfreeze credit for temporary, or permanent or even give access to specified creditors. The specific time frame to unfreeze with Equifax may range from 1 day to 1 year.
If you request to unfreeze your credit through phone, then you will have to undergo a verification process wherein you will be asked to answer a few security questions or receive a one-time PIN code through text.
And, if you want to freeze or unfreeze your credit through mail then you will have to download a form from the Equifax website and submit copies of a few documents that aid in verifying your identity and address like Social Security Number or Utility bill.
Contact Options for Equifax
Mail Address: Equifax Security Freeze, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348.
Website Link: Equifax
How long Does it Take to Unfreeze Credit?
In most circumstances, if you choose to place a request by phone or online your credit will be lifted within a few hours or even 1 hour from request. The Federal Trade Commission permits bureaus to complete online requests in one hour. Though, requests placed through mail can take 3 business days.
Credit Score vs Credit Reports
While most individuals misinterpret freezing credit with limiting credit score. When you freeze your credit reports, your credit score has no chance of having a negative impact so you can be relaxed.
When you freeze your credit, you can access your credit score without lifting credit reports. However, you may not be able to open any new accounts during this time. However, most creditors will need your credit reports to provide a credit line which means you will have to unfreeze your credit for obtaining a credit line, or even when you wish to invest.
How to Unfreeze Your Credit Temporarily vs Permanently?
As we discussed a few perks of unfreezing your credit, though you can have a choice to lift the credit report either temporarily or permanently.
If you are wondering how to unfreeze your credit temporarily, then you must understand the process for lifting credit for a specified time. Bureaus will grant access to a few creditors or companies with your credit reports for the mentioned duration. This option can help you manage your credit smartly, as you don't have to remember the date your bureau will take care of it and automatically freeze your credit as per your mentioned end date.
Does lifting credit permanently mean I lose the protection of my credit reports? How do I unfreeze my credit permanently? Having concerns like this is quite common, though permanently unfreezing credit can be a big deal. Your sensitive data and annual credit reports may have a chance to get exposed to identity theft if you unfreeze them permanently. This is the reason why a permanent unfreeze credit is not recommended by experts.
Reason to Unfreeze Your Credit
Unfreezing your credit reports temporarily may have various reasons, and knowing when to lift your credit reports remains to be an important aspect among Americans. Don’t worry, to help you make the right decisions, we have listed below a few common reasons when you would need to unfreeze your credit reports from either 1 or all 3 credit bureaus.
Application for a Loan or New Credit Card
You must consider unfreezing your credit when you apply for a loan or get a new credit card. When your credit is frozen, lenders or creditors will not be able to access your credit reports to identify whether you are eligible for the application. And, if you fail to unfreeze your credit on time your application may be rejected.
Online Shopping or Buying New Assets
Unless and until you decide to purchase through cash you won't have to worry about the procedure of lifting credit. However, in other cases, you will need access to pay through credit. There are a lot of companies that offer making payments in installments when you buy assets with hefty prices, though for that companies will need to access your credit reports to check whether you will be able to make timely payments.
Buying a New Home
It is always a good idea to unfreeze your credit before you start your home hunt. Why? Lenders may need to check your credit reports for eligibility or as a procedure of selling apartments or if you want a house for rent, then your credit report is the top priority for lenders to make decisions.
Unfreezing your credit for various purposes and specific times is quite simple. Whether you choose to lift credit reports online, by phone or even mail bureaus make sure creditors get access to your credit check at the right time followed by a secured identification procedure.
Additionally, keep monitoring the status of your credit report when you freeze and unfreeze it to avoid any minor chances of identity theft as a precaution.
Frequently Asked Questions
$0, freezing and unfreezing services at the 3 main bureaus are offered for free. However, if you choose to benefit from additional services offered by credit bureaus are chargeable.
You can freeze or unfreeze your credit simply by placing a request to all the bureaus individually via phone, online visiting their visit, or even by mail. A few bureaus may have an additional step of providing a PIN code for the secured identification process.