We all get A LOT of scam phone calls, emails, and text messages these days and while the majority of us are able to spot a scam relatively quickly, the same doesn’t go for our aging parents. That’s why you should consider a credit freeze a part of their protection.
What is a Credit Freeze?
Simple enough, a credit freeze puts a hold on access to your, or your loved one’s, credit report which stops any bad actors from opening up a new credit account in their name.
If you ever do need to open a new line of credit, you can temporarily lift the restriction, but let’s be honest… how often is your parent opening a new line of credit at this point in their life?
While the freeze is in place, your parent will still be able to do things like rent an apartment (or space at an assisted living facility), purchase insurance, or deal with medicare or medicaid benefits without any issue.
How Much Does a Credit Freeze Cost?
Nothing at all! One of those rare things in life that is actually free.
How Do you Place a Credit Freeze?
Contact the three big credit bureaus and tell them.
Of course, you will need proof that you are an authorized representative of the person under care.
Here is the contact information for the three bureaus that you’ll want to contact.
Equifax: Call 800-349-9960 or find them online.
Experian: Call 888‑397‑3742 or find them online.
TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872 or find them online.
Want Extra Protection?
Consider using an app – like WayWiser – to create a Trusted Circle around you and your family, organize all of the “what ifs” that come along with getting older and monitor finances as a team. The best defense against scams and fraud is putting as many eyes as possible on your or your loved ones’ finances to be sure that nothing unusual is getting through the cracks.