How to Freeze Your Credit Report at Equifax for Free

Protect your Equifax credit report from identity theft.

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Freezing your credit report is an important step to take to protect yourself from identity theft. With a frozen credit report, credit bureaus won’t provide information to companies that try to access your information to approve credit or loan applications. Even better, freezing your credit report is free at all three major credit bureaus. Unfortunately, you’ll have to freeze your credit report separately at each credit bureau. Here’s how to do it at Equifax.

Freezing Your Equifax Credit Report

Once you freeze your Equifax credit report, you’ll be given a PIN to use when you want to unfreeze or refreeze your credit report in the future. You have three options for freezing your credit report with Equifax.

Online

The fastest way to freeze your credit report is online via Equifax’s website. To complete the freeze, you’ll first have to create a myEquifax account. Creating an account requires you to provide your name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, and identity verification information.

By Phone

If you don’t want to create an online account with Equifax, the next best option is to request a freeze online. The number to call is 800-349-9960. When you request a freeze by phone, your PIN will be mailed to you.

According to federal law, it can take no more than one business day for your freeze to take effect when you request it online or by phone, and no more than three business days when requested by mail.

By Mail

The final option for freezing your credit report is to download and mail in the appropriate forms. Send the completed paperwork to Equifax Information Services LLC P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348-5788. Send via certified mail so you have proof that your forms were mailed and you can check to see when they’re received. 

When you freeze your credit you’ll need to provide one document to validate your identification. That can be any of the following:

  • Valid driver's license
  • Social Security card
  • Pay stub
  • W2 form
  • 1099 form
  • Court documents for legal name change
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree
  • State ID
  • Military ID

You’ll also need to provide one item to validate your address:

  • Valid driver's license
  • Utility bill with the correct address (gas, water, cable, residential phone bill)
  • Cell phone bill
  • Pay stub
  • W2 form
  • 1099 form
  • Rental lease agreement/house deed
  • Mortgage statement
  • Bank statement
  • State ID

Once Equifax receives your forms and identifying documentation by mail, it can take up to three business days for the freeze to become effective.

Freezing a Minor’s Equifax Credit Report

Parents can also freeze credit reports for children under age 16 to prevent their identities from being used fraudulently. You must complete the Minor Freeze Request Form and provide information for the person whose credit you want to freeze. In addition, you must show that you have the authority to request the freeze. Minors who are 16 or 17 may request their own security freeze by phone or mail.

If the minor does not have a credit file, Equifax will create one to freeze it. 

Lifting and Unfreezing Your Credit Report

When you’re ready to apply for a loan or credit card, you’ll need to temporarily lift the freeze so the lender can pull your credit report. You may not know ahead of time which credit report the company will check, so unfreezing all three credit reports is best.

You can unfreeze your Equifax report online, by phone, or by mail. Unfreezing online or by phone is fastest; Equifax has to lift the freeze in an hour. Otherwise, if you request the freeze by mail, it can take up to three business days for the freeze to be lifted.

What About a Fraud Alert?

A fraud alert doesn’t lock your credit report the way a credit freeze does. Instead, it requires a lender or creditor to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name. Fraud alerts also expire after a year, unless you have been the victim of identity theft, in which case they last for seven years.

What Freezing Your Equifax Credit Report Won’t Do

Be aware that a credit report freeze doesn’t offer protection from all types of fraud. Thieves may be able to open accounts with businesses that don’t use a major credit bureau. They may also be able to commit other types of fraud like taking over a credit card account or filing taxes in your name.

Businesses that you already have a relationship with will still be able to access your credit information, too. Freezing your credit report at Equifax won’t affect your credit score. You’ll still be able to use your credit accounts and monitor your credit.

Reporting Problems With Your Credit Freeze

If you think Equifax isn’t placing your credit freeze properly, you can submit a complaint to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau online or by calling 855-411-2372.