Did you know that the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) are not government entities… they’re for-profit companies that aggregate your personal information and sell it to others? Point blank period.

So, they don’t really care what happens to your identity…because they’ve already got theirs. Okay sure, we can fine them millions of dollars (Equifax) for not securing our info, but can we opt out of them gathering it at all? Nope, never.

So take back the power of your identity in an easy and FREE way.

We all know that there is a LOT of value in having good credit, but are you working to protect your credit beyond just making on-time payments? How about your child’s credit? Are you doing the easy and FREE work needed to prevent identity theft?

Your credit reports live in an “unfrozen” status, by default. This means that anyone with a legitimate business need (loosely defined) may access your credit report anytime with not much more than verbal consent. Unless you get notices every time your reports are accessed AND you know how to handle if a random one occurs that you didn’t authorize….you’re leaving yourself open to a potentially nasty and lifelong surprise.

By freezing your reports, you prevent anybody from accessing your credit reports until you contact the bureaus and personally unfreeze them. Speaking as a mortgage lender empowered to pull credit reports from all three bureaus… trust me, we can’t see anything if your report is frozen. Nothing.

Identity thrift is no joke. Not only can bad credit and/or identity theft stop you from getting loans, buying a house, getting a job, setting up utilities, or even getting a cell phone plan until your credit is fixed… people often steal your child’s social security number and open credit in their name because kids won’t check their credit for nearly two decades (when they turn 18)…which allows the perpetrator plenty of time to steal, get what they want, and disappear. So, freeze your kids credit reports along with your own.

By the way… do NOT pay some random company for credit freezes, because it’s already totally free directly from the bureaus.

Stop what you’re doing and download these three free apps:
-Lock & Alert (Equifax)
-myTransUnion (Trans Union)
-IdentityWorks (Experian)

Once you’ve got the apps, you can freeze/unfreeze your credit in seconds.

Three weeks ago, Jay and I applied for an auto loan for my Lexus. In the parking lot of the credit union, I opened my apps and unfroze my credit in 25 seconds. We applied, got approved, then I froze my credit reports again in 25 seconds. Simple.

Be proactive and be your own financial advocate (and your kids, too)