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Credit Freezes aka The Equifax Rule Allows Consumers To Put A Freeze On Who Can Pull Information 

Consumers can now freeze their credit at all three of the major credit reporting agencies for free. The new rule went into effect yesterday. Industry insiders are dubbing it the “Equifax rule.”

The massive data breach at Equifax led to a push to ban credit reporting agencies from charging to freeze someone’s credit.

Each state had different rules about credit freezes. Some states allowed agencies to charge up to $10 to place a credit freeze. States also allowed credit agencies to charge $10 to lift the freeze.

Equifax Rule

Not anymore. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act bans the practice. The act was signed into law by President Trump earlier this year.

Consumers can envoke the Equifax Rule tp freeze their credit at Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. A credit freeze prevents lenders or other credit providers from opening a new account without a consumer unfreezing their credit.

The Federal Trade Commission also stated the Equifax Rule allows parents to freeze their children’s credit for free. It also allows guardians, conservators, and those with a valid power of attorney to get a free freeze for their dependents.

Credit reporting agencies also must now extend fraud alerts from 90 days to one year. A fraud alert requires businesses that check a consumer’s credit to get the consumer’s approval before opening a new account.

According to the FTC, consumers must contact each of the three major credit agencies independently to place a credit freeze on their accounts.

The credit reporting agencies must now freeze the consumer’s credit within one day. Agencies are also required to unfreeze the account within one hour.

If consumers make those requests via snail mail, the credit agency must place or lift the freeze within three business days.

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