Back in May of 2008, I was lamenting the fact that credit freezes would cost us $30/person or $120 for our family of 4. What I failed to notice last October was that our North Carolina General Assembly made the necessary changes to the Identity Theft Protection Act of 2005 in order to make it free online (with exceptions below) to get a credit freeze. Here is the page from the NC Department of Justice to explain what the advantages to getting a freeze are.
With freezes, thaws (temporary unfreezes), and removal being free...this seems like a no brainer. Before I was wondering if this is worth $120 for my family plus $10 every time I had to remove the freeze. Now, all those barriers have been removed. I can't believe it took me 10 months to learn of this.
Credit Freezes are always free for those over 62 years old, have been the victim of identity theft, or are the spouse of an identity theft victim. For the rest of us, here are the fees:
- Place, Thaw, or Remove a Credit Freeze online: FREE
- Place a Credit Freeze by phone or mail: up to $3
- Thaw or Remove a Credit Freeze by phone or mail: FREE
Here is Clark Howard's guide to credit freezes with all the links to freeze your credit.
Here is the actual text from the actual law passed by the NC general assembly:
A consumer reporting agency shall not charge a fee to put a security freeze in place, remove a freeze, or lift a freeze pursuant to subsection (d) or (j) of this section, provided that any such request is made electronically. If a request to put a security freeze in place is made by telephone or by mail, a consumer reporting agency may charge a fee to a consumer not to exceed three dollars ($3.00), except that a consumer reporting agency may not charge any fee to a consumer over the age of 62, to a victim of identity theft who has submitted a copy of a valid investigative or incident report or complaint with a law enforcement agency about the unlawful use of the victim's identifying information by another person, or to the victim's spouse. A consumer reporting agency shall not charge an additional fee to a consumer who requests to temporarily lift for a specific period of time or to a specific third party, reinstate, or remove a security freeze.