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Credit Freezes vs. Credit Locks: What’s the Difference and When Should You Use Each One?

October 16, 2020

From the LifeLock website

Worried that scammers could open credit card accounts or loans in your name? You should be. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s 2019 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, 246,000 people reported that scammers opened credit card accounts in their name that year.

That’s a big jump of 88 percent from 2018.

And when scammers open these accounts? They can run up purchases in your name, leaving you with credit card debt that shows up on your credit reports. Others might open loans in your name and not pay them back, something that will also show up on your credit reports and will send your three-digit credit score plummeting.

You can help protect yourself against this form of identity theft, though, by signing up for either a credit freeze or credit lock of your credit reports. Freezes and locks can help prevent scammers from opening accounts and taking out loans in your name. But they both come with important differences, too.

A credit freeze is free but is more difficult to undo. Some credit locks may require a fee, but it’s typically easier to unlock your credit than it is to unfreeze it.

Which is the right choice for you?

From → Finance

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