For very little money, you can prevent identity thieves from opening accounts in your name by freezing your credit report. It’s understandable if you have questions and concerns regarding a security freeze. So let’s take a look at how you may be affected.
What Is a Credit Freeze?
A credit freeze limits who can see your credit report information. The goal is to prevent anyone from opening any new accounts. It doesn't damage your credit or stop your credit report from evolving by your own actions.
Your credit information will still be released to your existing creditors and any debt collectors who may come calling.
But, if you want to open new lines of credit, you'll need to lift the freeze first. This can be done temporarily, either for a set time or for a particular party, like a landlord or lender.
The costs to freeze and lift the freeze on your credit vary based on where you live and for each credit reporting agency, but commonly run about $10 per agency.
How Can It Affect Home Loans?
A credit freeze aims to block anyone from opening new accounts in your name. The catch is that the block applies to legit inquires, too. So it's not a great idea if you're shopping for a home or an auto loan. But when you're not looking to take out any loans or open any lines of credit, it can be a financial lifesaver.
One of the biggest problems with a credit freeze is it takes a lot longer to thaw credit than it does to freeze it. That could be a problem if you need credit in a hurry, such as a store credit card for an unexpected appliance purchase.
Working with a REALTOR® provides clients with peace-of-mind that they will be receiving both professional and ethical service during the home buying or selling process. All of the members of Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® are REALTORS® as well as members of the Illinois REALTORS®and National Association of REALTORS®. Learn more about purchasing a home and find a REALTOR® to help by visiting Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® website, or calling 815-744-4520.