Unfortunately, many people become the victim of identity theft and credit fraud. If this has happened to you, you should know that you have options. Generally, the best way to stop a criminal from using your credit is to request a credit freeze.
Freezing your credit can keep your information safe and prevents criminals from opening new credit accounts in your name or continuing to use your credit card if it has already been stolen.
It’s important to know that if you are planning to freeze your credit, it must be done with each of the major credit bureaus. One of those companies is TransUnion, so you will have to know what steps you must take with a TransUnion credit freeze.
Fortunately, this process is available for free and you have the choice of doing it by phone, postal mail or online.
Freeze Your Credit with TransUnion By Phone
The phone process for freezing your credit with TransUnion is fairly straight-forward. You must call 1-888-909-8872 and can either use the automated voice system or speak with a live representative.
There are a few questions you are required to answer to authenticate your information. You will also have to provide all of your basic information, including your full name along with suffixes, your date of birth, home address and Social Security number.
If you choose to use the automated phone system, you will receive a random PIN number. However, if you prefer to speak to an actual person, you can choose your own PIN.
Freeze Your Credit with TransUnion By Mail
If you are a bit old-fashioned and would prefer to use the postal mail method of freezing your credit through TransUnion, you are certainly not alone.
A TransUnion credit freeze can be done by snail mail if you make a request with TransUnion LLC, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016.
Remember to include your most basic information, such as your full name, home address, date of birth and Social Security number.
In addition, you need copies of certain documents that can verify your information, such as your driver’s license, utility bills, passport or another personally identifying piece of documentation.
However, it’s important to note that this method of freezing your credit with TransUnion is also the slowest. When the process is complete and your credit has been frozen, you will receive an automated, generated PIN number in the mail.
Freeze Your Credit with TransUnion Online
Freezing your credit with TransUnion online is very easy. However, in order to do so, you will need a TransUnion account.
You can go online via your computer or download the TransUnion app to your smartphone or tablet. Note that it is not a requirement to have an account if you choose to freeze your credit by regular mail or over the phone.
Go to www.transunion.com/credit-freeze and fill out all the information, which includes your full name, address, city, state, zip code, whether you have lived at your residence for over six months, email, birthdate and last four digits of your Social Security number.
After you have entered all this information, you can submit it via the button at the bottom of the page. You will then begin receiving emails from TransUnion as well, as a default. You can uncheck the box to not receive such emails.
You must also answer questions regarding former addresses, loan amount payments you have made and when your credit accounts were opened.
After you have effectively frozen your credit through TransUnion, you will be required to get a PIN number that you can use in the future if you want to unfreeze your credit if you choose to do so via phone. The PIN can either be automated by the system or you can choose one yourself.
When to Unfreeze Your Credit
If you decide to unfreeze your credit, you must do so with each credit bureau. Through TransUnion, you can go online the same way you did to freeze your credit and lift it by following the same general steps.
However, if you are planning on lifting the credit freeze via regular mail or over the phone, you will need the PIN number you previously received.
Knowing how to freeze your credit through TransUnion is wise if you have recently learned that you have become the victim of identity theft.
Once you have taken steps to definitively put a stop to fraud, in time, you can lift the freeze and go back to using your credit like before.