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In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
There is a lot of personal information in your credit report that could be used for identity theft and that could allow thieves to open accounts in your name. Restricting access to your credit report and monitoring your financial activity is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your credit score.
Fraud alerts and security freezes can help you if you think you might already be a victim of identity theft, but taking control in advance by locking your Equifax credit report can help prevent unauthorized activity from occurring. The big difference between fraud alerts or security freezes and locking your credit report is your control over the activity.
If you have in place select Equifax credit monitoring products, you have the ability to lock and unlock your credit file at a moment’s notice. You don’t have to file a report or contact an agency—you can log into your Equifax monitoring product or use the Equifax Mobile App to almost instantaneously lock or unlock your credit report.
When would you want to lock your Equifax credit report?
There are situations you may be in that can require a great deal of legitimate activity on your credit report. For example, you may be shopping for a new car, opening a new credit card, setting up utility accounts, or looking to refinance your mortgage. During these times, lenders and other organizations will need to access your credit report.
All inquires are not bad. It’s acceptable for these people and services to look at your credit report in order to evaluate you for the best deals and interest rates. But you may want to consider a monitoring product to keep tabs on who is looking at your credit report and to make sure only authorized accounts are accessing your credit file.
When you lock your Equifax credit file, access is restricted from new inquiries. This means that you can’t shut out lenders with whom you already have a relationship. The lock also won’t restrict your everyday financial activities—but it will prevent access to your credit report by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies.
Note that there are exceptions and that the following will not be locked out:
If you don’t plan to apply for new credit any time soon, locking your credit file is a great way to protect your credit report and ensure no one is using your personal information to open credit accounts. When you need to apply for new credit, you can feel secure knowing you can always temporarily unlock your Equifax credit report.
Diane Moogalian is vice president of operations for Equifax Personal Information Solutions. Prior to joining Equifax in 2007, Diane held several strategic roles with leading financial services companies.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.