The data breaches that Equifax and other companies have experienced have influenced many consumers to put a freeze on their credit reports. The credit freeze won’t affect a Stockton homebuyer’s ability to borrow, but it does make the borrower take extra steps when they apply for a loan.
The way to request a credit freeze is to submit by mail, online, or over the phone a credit freeze request. You must do this to all three of the major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) individually. This requires you to provide your personal information, such as your name, social security number, date of birth and your address. There are also fees to apply a credit freeze. The fees vary, but are usually ranging from free to $10 every time you place or lift the credit freeze.
What a credit freeze does is block anyone from viewing your credit report. This includes lenders and employers. Although a credit freeze prevents others from opening lines of credit in your name, it also can also affect your ability to get a credit card, a job, or even a simple thing like a cellphone.
A credit freeze will also keep you from opening a new account. If Stockton homebuyers have placed a credit freeze, but want to apply for a loan, you have an extra step. Stockton homebuyers will need to contact each credit bureau individually to temporarily lift the freeze to allow the lender access to your credit report.
It is called “history” because it happened in the past. Although a credit freeze can protect you moving forward, make sure to check your credit report. Any existing issues that were on your report before the credit freeze happened are still there.
Stockton homebuyers will want to make sure to check this carefully before you apply for a loan. This will allow you to work on fixing the report before you unfreeze your credit for the lender to view.
A fraud alert will still allow creditors to pull your credit report if they verify your identity first. An example is when a business calls you to verify that you are actually the person requesting the credit. This will protect you in the case of someone else applying for “new” credit in your name, but it does not protect you from someone misusing credit on your existing accounts.
The fraud alert is much easier to apply for than a credit freeze and it is free. You simply contact one of the three credit bureaus and they are required to contact the others.
Stockton homebuyers should understand that applying and lifting a credit freeze takes time. Do not assume that you can apply for credit and lift your freeze in the same day. Do your research and give yourself time before you apply for your loan.
When you apply for your credit freeze, you will be given a PIN that you will use each time you want to lift or remove the credit freeze. You can also lift or apply your credit freeze when you use a third party, such as TransUnion’s TrueIdentity.
Because credit plays such a large for Stockton homebuyers going through the process, you want to make sure that you are adequately protected. Understand where your credit is currently at and what tools Stockton homebuyers have at their disposal.