Equifax, which suffered a data breach affecting 143 million customers last year, offered users a free credit monitoring service, but this ended last month. It has, however, extended its credit freeze offering for an additional five months through June 30th, 2018.
Now, Equifax is introducing a new credit locking service called Lock & Alert, which is free for life and is available in the form of an app. A credit lock and a credit freeze may sound the same, but they are actually very different services.
A credit freeze can only be lifted with a PIN and makes it difficult for someone to open new credit in your name. Keep in mind, if you need a new line of credit for a mortgage, car, or credit card, you will need to unfreeze your credit. You would need to plan ahead, as it takes up to 48 hours to freeze and unfreeze your credit.
A credit lock uses authentication techniques, such as a username, password, and one-time pass code. The Lock & Alert app is available now through the Apple Store and through Google Play.
We always recommend our customers report anything suspicious or out of the ordinary to the relevant company’s fraud department, as well as the credit bureaus. We advise you to be proactive now so you can avoid the hassle of trying to repair your credit for years to come.
If you have any questions or concerns about your accounts, please drop in to one of our four branches in New Berlin, Springfield, Palmyra or Modesto to speak with one of our friendly staff.