About credit freezes
A freeze prevents a company from releasing a credit report to anyone or any business until the consumer lifts the freeze. This protects the consumer from identity thieves who try to get new credit cards or loans using the consumer’s personal information.
Under current New Hampshire law, consumers can freeze their credit for free if they can prove that they have been victims of identity theft. Any other consumer that wants a freeze must pay a $10 fee to each credit reporting agency.
Should credit freezes be free?
Supporters of a free freeze point to situations like the massive Equifax hack, which exposed the personal information of hundreds of thousands of Granite Staters. Technically those residents are not the victims of identity theft until a hacker uses that information to impersonate them; anyone who wanted to protect their credit after the hack had to pay the $10 fee to each agency.
Some opponents note that the federal government is also considering a law requiring free credit freezes, which would trump any efforts at the state level. Equifax has also voluntarily started offering free credit freezes.
Do you think consumers should be able to freeze their credit reports for free? Let us know in the comments below.