In the wake of the Equifax breach, money expert Clark Howard has warned people they really need to freeze their credit if they want to try to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, but doing that is not without its complications. There will be times when you may need to unfreeze your credit, most notably when you apply for a new loan or credit card.
Certain student loans require access to credit history
A credit freeze could prevent you from getting a Federal Parent PLUS loan and a Federal Grad PLUS loan, according to the Detroit Free Press, because a borrower’s credit history has to be reviewed in order to obtain a PLUS loan. Lenders do not have access to your reports if your credit is frozen and therefore cannot move forward with your loan application.
You simply need to thaw your credit while the lender (in this case the government) has a chance to review your application and credit history — this applies to getting a new credit card or taking out a car loan, as well. It does cost to freeze and thaw your credit in most places, but the expense isn’t as nearly as big as the price you’ll pay if someone steals your identity.