An Endorsement for Freezing Your Credit

From Jim Winston at The Wall Street Journal:

Note: this article is behind a paywall. If you are not a WSJ subscriber, you can’t read the full piece. I did my best to summarize the key points.

There have been many recommendations to freeze one’s credit with the three major credit agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) after the Equifax data breach. This piece is intriguing because its author is someone that has kept his credit frozen for the last ten years.

Despite the occasional hassle of needing to remove and re-add the security freeze, he remains an advocate of keeping one’s credit frozen as the default setting.

If I start to mutter to myself as I type in the information, I stop as soon as I think about what it would be like to try to untangle myself from a bogus financial liability left in my name by a crook.

Would I recommend a credit freeze for others? You bet. My wife and I will never know what kind of trouble our credit freezes have helped us avoid.

A security freeze does not act as a safeguard on every way an identity thief may try to take advantage of your personal information, but it is a good starting point.

One other note: Winston mentions the hassle of mailing letters to the credit bureaus to first add the security freeze. Today, with automated phone service or online forms, it is much easier to add or remove a security freeze, so I do not think the process is as cumbersome.