If you have been a victim of identity theft, or have reason to believe that your personal information is particularly at risk, a security freeze is a strong measure to help you “lock up” your credit file so that you can control access to it. When you place a security freeze with the credit bureaus, you are given a pin number to open your credit files. Anyone other than you who tries to apply for credit in your name will be unable to do so, as long as the creditor looks at credit reports in making their lending decision.
So how much does it cost for this service? That depends on which state you live in.
In every state except Mississippi, it is free to place a security freeze on your credit files if you can prove that you have been a victim of identity theft, for example by producing a copy of a police report. In Mississippi it is legal for a credit bureau to charge you up to $10 to place a security freeze on your credit report, even if you can prove you have been the victim of identity theft.
It is free for identity theft victims to remove a security freeze in every state except for Arkansas ($10 charge allowed), Colorado ($10) and New Jersey ($5).
If you have not been a victim of identity theft, but would still like to put a security freeze on your credit reports, in most states you will be charged by the credit bureaus for that service. Some states allow for a free freeze, but most people can expect to pay the credit bureaus around $5-10 for securing their information.
It’s important to note that some states allow for free placement or removal of security freezes for people over 65 years of age. For the specific details of your state’s laws, contact the attorney general’s office for your state.
The information listed here is current as of September, 2013.