Georgia's credit freeze law provides Georgia consumers with the ability to place a freeze on their credit file for only $3, or a total of $9 for each of the three major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each temporary lift – commonly called a “thaw” – to allow access to the consumer’s credit file also costs $3, and is available electronically within 15 minutes of request, keeping on-the-spot credit an option for shoppers. If you are the victim of identity theft, there is no charge for a credit freeze. Placing a credit freeze is also free to senior citizens 65 or older, but they can be charged $3 for lifting or removing the freeze.
A credit freeze can be a powerful weapon against identity theft. When a freeze is in place, credit reporting agencies may not release the consumer’s credit report or credit score unless the consumer first removes the freeze by providing his password. Most lenders and creditors rely on access to a consumer’s credit file to determine his credit worthiness. By denying such access, a credit freeze makes it very difficult for an identity thief to open an account in a victim’s name.
To place a credit freeze on your file, consumers must contact each of these credit reporting agencies:
Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000
The request must include identifying information:
- Full name (and former name if applicable)
- Current Address and former address if it changed in the last 5 years
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Photocopy of a driver’s license, state ID card or other government-issued identification
- Proof of current residence, such as a copy of a phone or utility bill
- If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report; investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft;
- If you are not a victim of identity theft, include payment by check, money order or credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover cards only.) Do not send cash in the mail.