If you’ve had a data breach or identity theft, consider placing a credit freeze on your credit report. It prevents an unauthorized person from using your personal information to apply for new credit accounts. Freezing your credit is important in these types of situations because most creditors look at a credit report before approving a new account. If a credit report is frozen, creditors can’t access it and aren’t likely to approve any new credit requests without your permission — protecting you and your finances.

You can place a freeze for free through one of the credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, or Innovis. The freeze remains in place until you ask the reporting agency to temporarily lift it, or remove it altogether.

A credit freeze does not affect your credit score. It also does not:

  • Prevent you from getting your free annual credit report
  • Keep you from opening a new account. But, to open one, you’ll need to lift the freeze temporarily. (It’s free to lift the freeze and free to place it again.)
  • Affect applying for a job, renting an apartment, or buying insurance.

Even with a freeze in place, it’s still important to regularly monitor account statements. While a freeze prevents new and unwanted credit from being opened under your name, it does not prevent a thief from making changes to your existing accounts.

For more ways to protect your personal and financial information, visit the Security Center. Consider enrolling in CEFCU On-Line® and Mobile Banking, too, (if you haven’t already) for daily tools to help you monitor and manage your accounts safely, accurately, and securely.