A Congress passed bill known as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act has gone into effect, allowing consumers to increase their credit card protections for no extra costs.
The new law requires that all three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion set up a webpage for consumers to request credit freezes and fraud alerts.
These new protections come at no additional cost to credit card holders and increase the security available to consumers.
Credit freezing is a method of limiting access to one’s credit file, effectively rendering the card unusable while the freeze is in effect. By freezing, consumers can prevent access to their file in the case of identity theft.
To be effective, the freeze needs to be done with each of the major agencies, however, under previous regulations, a freeze request would cost you $10 per agency. With the new law, all three agencies will now offer this service for free.
Fraud alerts are security checks that require companies to verify your identity before extending new credit, which often involves calling you.
Under previous regulations, fraud alerts were free but lasted for 90 days, after which it could be renewed for free again. With the new law, the 90-day alert period will instead last for one year.