And the credit of your household family members

The best way to protect your credit is a credit freeze. In this email we’ll explain the process.

1) Start by gathering everyone’s social security numbers, birth dates, and past addresses for all adults. Evaluate the borrowing and credit patterns to be familiar with what is there.

2) While we all have digital tools to store documents, consider putting together a hard copy file you can store in a household safe. Label this your “Credit Freeze” file. You will need this to unfreeze your credit.

3) Visit each of the three credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, Equifax. If you don’t have one already, create an account. Be sure to log the user name and password you create. Recovering this is a pain so save it where you can remember it. (Do you has a password manager? Good idea to get!)

4) After creating the account, you’ll need to verify your identity. This process may ask you to verify past addresses, current or past accounts, or other personal information. You will need to know this when unfreezing your account.

5) You’ll be provided a personal id number that is always needed to freeze or unfreeze your file. Keep this safe and where you can get it.

6) Do this for all of your family accounts.

It’s a good idea to save this where it is safe and you can access when you need.

Here are the credit bureau contacts:

Equifax: www.freeze.equifax.com: 800-685-1111

Experian: www.experian.com/freeze/center.html : 888-397-3742

TransUnion: www.transunion.com/securityfreeze : 888-909-8872

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