The Equifax data breach is causing U.S. consumers to question how secure their information is in the lending industry. The Atlanta-based credit-reporting agency reported last week that “criminals” exploited a system vulnerability on the company’s website, exposing as many as 143 million people to identity fraud.
Understandably, consumers have plenty of questions related to the hack. Money expert Clark Howard said the No. 1 way to protect yourself from identity fraud is by freezing your credit. But one of the main questions consumers want to know is when their credit is frozen, who can see it.
Does a credit freeze hide my information from everyone?
Can anyone view your credit report when it’s frozen? Well, yes, but not in every circumstance.
- Debt collectors or existing creditors acting on their behalf — think companies that have issued you credit cards, loans, a mortgage, etc. — could lawfully gain access to your credit report.
- Government agencies acting in response to court orders or a judge — think subpoenas or search warrants — could also gain access to your credit report.
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If you have specific questions about the Equifax breach and how it may impact you, contact Clark’s Consumer Action Center — a FREE help line open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. EST with volunteers available to answer YOUR concerns! Call Team Clark @ 404-892-8227.