How to Freeze Your Credit Report at Experian for Free

Protect your Experian credit report from identity thieves.

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If you want to protect yourself from identity theft, freezing your credit report is one of the best steps to take. Placing a security freeze on your credit report prevents credit card companies and other businesses from pulling your credit report to approve a loan or credit application. You can freeze your credit report at all three major credit bureaus at no cost. The only downside is that you have to contact each bureau individually to place the security freeze. Here’s how to do it for Experian.

Freezing Your Experian Credit Report

Experian is one of the three major U.S. credit bureaus providing credit information to businesses. Once you place a freeze on your Experian credit report, the bureau won’t provide your information to most businesses that request it. You can freeze your Experian credit report online, by phone, or by mail.

Online

You can quickly freeze your Experian credit report for free online at Experian’s website. You’ll start the process by providing your personal identifying information including your full name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, and email address. You can choose your own 5-10 digit PIN or allow Experian to generate one for you. Your PIN is necessary to lift your credit report freeze in the future.

By Phone

Freezing your Experian credit report by phone is also an option if you don’t want to send your personal information over the internet or if you’d simply rather complete the process with another person. Call 1-888-397-3742 to make your freeze request over the phone.

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

By Mail

Finally, you can submit a written request to freeze your Experian credit report. You should include the following information with your request to verify both your identity and your address:

  • Your full name including middle initial, and generation if applicable
  • Social Security number
  • Complete addresses for the past two years
  • Date of birth
  • One copy of a government-issued identification card, like your driver's license, state ID card, etc
  • One copy of a utility bill, bank, or insurance statement, etc. Keep the originals for your records.

Submit your request in writing to Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013.

Freezing a Minor’s Experian Credit Report

Parents and legal guardians can also request a credit report freeze for minor children under age 16. Experian provides a form that you must complete and mail providing your personal information. You must also send the following information for the person whose credit you want to protect:

  • The protected consumer's full name, with middle initial, and generation
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Current and previous mailing addresses for the past two years
  • Copies of the protected consumer's birth certificate and Social Security card

You should also send in your own personal information:

  • Your full name, with middle initial and generation
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your date of birth
  • Current and previous mailing addresses for the past two years
  • One copy of your government issued identification card, such as a driver's license, state ID card, etc
  • One copy of a utility bill, bank, or insurance statement, etc 
  • If you are the protected consumer's guardian, submit a copy of the court document naming you as the guardian. 

Lifting and Unfreezing Your Credit Report

Experian makes it easy to allow a potential creditor to check your frozen credit. You can request a single-use PIN via Experian’s website. The creditor can use the PIN to access your credit report just one time. This is a good option if you’re only applying for credit with one company.

Otherwise, if you need to lift the freeze for several different companies, for example, if you’re shopping for a loan, you can use a separate form to request a temporary lift. You can provide the specific dates for the freeze to be lifted and placed back on your credit report. You can also permanently remove the credit freeze from your credit report.

Freeze or Fraud Alert?

A credit freeze locks down your credit report to new accounts unless you lift the freeze. A fraud alert requires lenders or creditors to take additional steps, such as calling you, to verify your identity before accessing your credit report.

What Freezing Your Experian Credit Report Won’t Do

Most companies won’t be able to access your Experian credit information while you have a freeze in place. The exception is companies that you already have an account with and collection agencies who are collecting a debt on behalf of one of your previous creditors. Companies can also access your credit report information, in aggregate form, to prescreen you for credit offers.

You can stop receiving prescreened credit card offers by visiting optoutprescreen.com.

Reporting Problems With Your Credit Freeze

If you believe Experian is not placing your credit freeze properly, you can submit a complaint to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau online or by calling 855-411-2372.