bank account

Pushing for Free Credit Freeze

Eliminating $10 fee

Bob Gates wasn't going to take the news that his credit report was compromised lying down, so he ordered a credit freeze.

"This way we know that no one is going to open an account using the information they got from the Equifax breach," said Gates.

Equifax announced that personal and financial information could have been breached for 143 million Americans.  As part of their efforts to cut back on fraud, the credit reporting agency is offering a free credit freeze to anyone whose information was compromised.

The other credit reporting agencies, TransUnion and Experian, are not offering a free freeze but charging $10 for each account.

Bob Gates doesn't agree with that.

"They're the credit industry and they're the ones that had the problem," said Gates.

Eva Velasquez with Identity Theft Resource Center says that's not right.

"This is an industry problem, this is a national problem," said Velasquez. "And consumers need help."

Velasquez is starting a public campaign on Change.Org asking the three credit reporting agencies to offer free credit freezes for everyone. She says the agencies need to "do the right thing."

"We are asking for an internal policy change directly from the CRA's so that this can happen quickly," said Velasquez, adding that efforts in Washington D.C. to do the same thing will take much longer.

Freezing your credit makes it nearly impossible for anyone, including yourself, to open a new account in your name. It blocks someone from applying for a student loan, a car loan, open a bank account or get a new credit card.

Someone with a freeze can unfreeze the account for a specific period of time but will be charged an additional $10 for the action.

Velasquez would like that to also be free at least once a year.

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