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FTC seeks credit freeze feedback

Daniel Ray

Cool: The Federal Trade Commission, as part of its effort to fight identity theft, wants feedback on one of the newest ID-theft tools — the credit freeze.

What’s a credit freeze, you ask? (Don’t feel ignorant — most people don’t know what a credit freeze is.) Credit freezes, also known as security freezes, allow consumers to lock down their credit, preventing anyone from opening new credit lines.

Consumer advocates like them, because they prevent ID theft at the source.

Lenders and the credit reporting agencies aren’t big fans of credit freezes, because they’re in the business of lending, and view anything that prevents lending is unprofitable. They prefer consumers buy their credit monitoring programs, which inform consumers about new credit lines after they’ve been opened.

Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia passed laws requiring some form of freeze. Faced with that groundswell, the three big credit reportinig agencies — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax — made them available nationwide late in 2007.

Now the FTC wants to see how it’s working, and is asking for input from the public, from credit report users and from the agencies. The agency has set up an online form to gather responses.

I’d love to hear what you have to say, too. Click below to make a public comment, or write to Editors@CreditCards.com.

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  • Terry

    I have all three frozen. Not a big, or costly deal. Easy to do online for a small fee, and free for those that can prove a victim of ID theft.