What does it mean to "freeze" credit reports?


Quick Answer

Freezing a credit report means restricting access to it by lenders. A consumer may take this measure when he fears identity theft or fraud. By restricting lender access, it is difficult for a potential thief to use the consumer's information to open a new account, reports the Federal Trade Commission.

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Full Answer

Placing a freeze on a credit report creates some hassles when the consumer wants to open a new account. To do so, the consumer needs to temporarily remove the freeze, according to the FTC. There are normally fees to remove a freeze, and reporting bureaus often need lead time to lift the freeze before the consumer applies.

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