Credit freezes are regularly used by consumers looking to add an extra layer of protection to their credit. A credit freeze restricts access to your credit file, making it harder for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name.
Previously, consumers would have to pay a fee to activate their credit freeze, but a new federal law signed in May is changing that.
Starting September 21, 2018, it will be free to freeze and unfreeze your credit file throughout the country. Additionally, consumers will be able to get a free credit freeze for children under the age of 16.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion must each set up a webpage for requesting fraud alerts and credit freezes. The FTC will also post links to those webpages on IdentityTheft.gov. For military personnel, credit reporting agencies must offer free electronic credit monitoring to all active duty military within a year.
Lastly, fraud alerts will now last for one year as opposed to 90 days. It will still be free and identity theft victims can still get an extended fraud alert for seven years.