How to Freeze a Social Security Number

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Freezing a Social Security number prevents anyone from accessing all three of your credit reports without your express permission. When creditors are not able to access your credit reports, someone else cannot open a new line of credit or get a loan using your Social Security number. People generally freeze a Social Security number in the case of identity theft, but the service is available to anyone.

Step 1

File a police report. If you are a victim of identity theft, you must have a copy of the police report in order to qualify for a security freeze free of charge.

Step 2

Go online. The fastest way to freeze a Social Security number is to do so at the websites of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. See Resources below for website addresses.

Step 3

Write a letter. Send a written request for a security freeze to all three credit bureaus. You must include your full legal name, date of birth, Social Security number, current address, your address from the past two years and the reason you are requesting a freeze.

Step 4

Call the credit bureaus. You may also call the three credit bureaus to request a freeze. They will ask you to provide the same information as described in Step 2.

Tip

Always send your written letter certified mail. This ensures the credit bureaus not only receive your request to freeze a social security number, but also that your information doesn't fall into the hands of an identity thief.

Always use a secure network. When applying for a security freeze online, make sure your network is secure before entering your information. Just look for the lock at the top or the bottom of your computer screen.

Warning

Never attempt to have someone else place a credit freeze for you. The credit bureaus require that you complete the request yourself.

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