Lock or Freeze

Why lock or freeze your credit report?

Security freezes and credit report locks help you control who can access your credit reports — without impacting your credit scores.

This can help you restrict other people from trying to use your information to open credit cards, apply for loans, or get mortgages in your name.

What are the differences between locking and freezing your Equifax credit report?

At their most basic, a credit report lock and a security freeze both generally prevent unauthorized access to your credit report to open new credit accounts. But they don’t work in exactly the same way. Here is some information to help you decide which is right for you.

When applying for credit you will need to remove a freeze, or unlock your credit report, to provide lenders access.

Credit Report Lock

Credit report locks are mobile-enabled and use usernames and passwords for authentication.

  • Credit report locks are free on your Equifax credit report by enrolling in Lock & Alert™
  • Quickly lock or unlock your Equifax credit report in our mobile app or online, with a simple swipe or click
  • You will need your username and password to verify your identity when you want to lock and unlock
  • Options to lock your credit report may also be available at the two other major credit bureaus

How to Lock your Equifax credit report

  1. Enroll in Lock & Alert by downloading the mobile app or by visiting the Lock & Alert product page
  2. Sign in to Lock & Alert and click or swipe to lock or unlock your Equifax credit report

Security Freeze

Security freezes, also known as credit freezes, use a PIN-based system for authentication.

  • Costs are regulated by state law and range from $0 to $10 per freeze and/or unfreeze action (freezing/unfreezing at Equifax is free until further notice)
  • Freezing or unfreezing can be done online, by phone, or by mail
  • You will need a PIN to verify your identity when you want to freeze or unfreeze your credit report
  • Freezes must be separately placed, lifted and/or removed with each of the three major credit bureaus
  • If you lose your PIN, you will need to contact the credit bureau where you placed the security freeze to verify your identity and receive a new PIN

How to Freeze your Equifax credit report

  1. Visit www.freeze.equifax.com
    • Or call 800-685-1111
      (NY residents, call 800-349-9960)
    • Or mail a freeze request to:
      Equifax Security Freeze
      P.O. Box 105788
      Atlanta, Georgia 30348
  2. Provide the personal information required to verify your identity
  3. Freeze and unfreeze your Equifax credit report by repeating the steps above with your PIN

To learn more about credit lock and security freezes, visit “Fraud Alerts, Security Freezes, and Credit Locks” in Consumer FAQs.