With more information coming out about the Equifax data breach, consumers are increasingly looking into freezing their credit and finding out what’s involved in the process.
Atlanta-based Equifax recently announced that as many as 143 million people were exposed when hackers exploited a website application to access files earlier this year. Equifax, one of three main cogs in the U.S. lending industry, waited six weeks to tell the public, leading to outrage and calls for class-action lawsuits.
Money expert Clark Howard says freezing your credit is the No. 1 way to protect yourself from identity fraud.
How long does it take to thaw my credit after I freeze it?
One things consumers want to know is how long would it take to lift a credit freeze after you’ve put one in place. The credit-thawing process may take as little as a few seconds — or it could take up to three days, according to the Financial Trade Commission.
In all but a handful of states, credit freezes remain in effect until you act to remove them temporarily or permanently. If you’re able to find out which credit-reporting agency — Equifax, TransUnion or Experion — the lender is using, you will be able to thaw the freeze only for that particular company.
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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.