When should you lock or freeze a loan?

Were you worried about identity theft? If so, you may have asked for a lock or credit freeze. But do you know the difference?

Credit locks and credit freezes usually do the same: they prevent anyone from opening a loan in your name. However, there are also differences between these options.

Definition of a credit lock

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All three major credit bureaus give consumers the ability to complete their credit reports.

When you do, the lender cannot access it to approve any loan or line of credit. However, please note that this is an agreement between you and the credit bureau. To become effective, you must do this with all three bureaus.

Definition of a credit freeze

A credit freeze is a similar thing. It freezes your credit report so that lenders cannot access it. Credit freezing is guaranteed by law.

What’s the big difference?

So what’s the difference? Well, the big difference comes from how locks and freezers work.

When you freeze a loan, which is usually convenient and affordable, you go through a series of different steps, online, over the phone, or through the mail. You can pick up a freeze anytime you want to legitimately apply for a loan. You can set the freeze to automatically return to a specific date.

You must provide a PIN number with any lift. Also, keep in mind that freezing and freezing fees are usually paid, and you may need to go through a wait or several hours.

Are they suitable?

Although some say a credit freeze is more convenient than a credit lock, there is still time that must elapse before it is effective. Generally, this is from 2 to 24 hours. When the freeze starts, you will receive a PIN number. You have to keep this PIN in your records and enter it to raise the freeze, and you have to ask each credit bureau to unfreeze your report.

The credit lock does not have a PIN. Normally, you start the lock using a secure application on your phone (which itself has a PIN). 

With Good Finance, it lasts from 2 to 48 hours, which is essentially the same as freezing. Also, keep in mind that you cannot freeze and lock your accounts at the same time. You have to choose one or the other.

Considering the cost

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You probably want to think about the cost as well. It is worth mentioning that Good Finance offers free products to lock your loan. But remember, with a credit lock, you have to lock a loan through every bureau. It won’t help much if you are locked in two, but the third is open to all.

Good Finance has a brand new credit lock and seems to be different from what the company offered earlier. Good Finance manages the credit lock through its TrustedID Premier service, which helps protect consumers from identity theft. This service offers fraud notifications, credit monitoring, and other features.

Good Finance has a similar subscription product. It’s called Credit Lock and it’s available through Good Credit. That’s USD 5 for the first month, and then it costs USD 25 for the later months.

A credit lock is another term for the Phishing Service.

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No freeze credits are not free. But the cost of freezing and freezing is usually cheaper than paying a monthly fee to keep a loan. In fact, federally, the cost of freezing and thawing your loan is set at USD 10, but many states have made the law even cheaper than that.

One reason you might consider locking in with Good Finance is that the system checks your credit card on a daily basis and promptly alerts you if there is some kind of someone trying to check your credit.

This might sound like a terrible deal and is worth USD 25 … but it might not be. Many experts do not recommend paying for credit monitoring, as you can usually do it for free through a credit card company or other financial account services.

This is definitely something to think about before you start shelling out money for a loan lock. Freezing a loan will be fine if you want protection, and it costs less.

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