By Jessica Mora, CFP®
Client Advisor Associate
As of September 21, 2018 under the new Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, consumers in states who previously had to pay fees to freeze their credit will no longer have to pay these fees. This is good news for consumers, as taking measures to protect your personal information should be available without incurring additional costs. In addition, this new law can be used by parents to freeze their children’s credit who are under age 16. Guardians, conservators, and those with a valid power of attorney can get a freeze for their dependent(s).
Cybersecurity has become an increasingly critical issue as sharing personal data online is now the new normal. Websites and apps have to take extreme measures to ensure the privacy of their users’ personal information. Unfortunately, all too often hackers are still able to gain access to this sensitive material. News of company data breaches seems to constantly pop into headlines. One major breach, the Equifax data breach in 2017, seemed to stand out as especially eye-opening to the public since compromised credit can take affected individuals years to restore.
After the Equifax data breach, many individuals took the highest precaution and initiated a “freeze” to prevent identity thieves from being able to access their credit and would prevent any new loans or lines of credit to be opened in that person’s name. This remains a viable option for anyone who suspects they may be at risk and knows they will not be needing new means of credit. Previously, the downside of this option was that it had to be completed separately at each of the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) and each one charged a fee between $3 and $10 for the freeze. The fee was determined by each state.
If you have been a victim of identity theft in the past, are at risk for security, or want to be proactive about protecting your credit, discuss credit freezing with your advisor at Mission Wealth today. We are here to help ensure your information and your family’s information are protected.
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