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Credit Freeze or Credit Monitoring?

Posted by Clyde Hutchins | Jan 06, 2017 | 0 Comments

Credit Freeze or Credit Monitoring?

You often hear about data breaches in the news, or unfortunately, through a data breach notice from a company. Most of the time that a data breach occurs, the company offers a credit monitoring service to help protect its customers from the consequences of the data breach. This is an "after the fact" type of approach to protecting consumers. However, there is another way to protect your personal information and that is through a credit freeze.

The main difference between credit monitoring and a credit freeze is that credit monitoring notifies the consumer when someone tries to use the consumer's credit information, while a credit freeze blocks use of a consumer's credit information for the purpose of obtaining new credit. Most businesses will not open credit accounts without first checking a consumer's credit report. If a consumer's credit files are frozen, even someone with a consumer's name and social security number probably would not be able to obtain credit using the consumer's name. However, with credit monitoring, someone could use the consumer's information to obtain credit.

A credit freeze can be somewhat of a nuisance. Anytime a consumer wants to obtain new credit, they have to remove the freeze, or temporarily "thaw" the freeze to allow the business to check their credit.

The cost of freezing credit is $10 per reporting agency for Wyoming residents. It is free for the first credit freeze for Colorado residents. There is another charge to remove or temporarily "thaw" the credit freeze.

About the Author

Clyde Hutchins

Clyde Hutchins is the founder of Harmony Law. Prior to opening Harmony Law, Mr. Hutchins worked in the Wyoming Attorney General's Office for several years where he developed a strong consumer protection enforcement unit. In that position he led over 120 investigations and enforcement actions under the Consumer Protection Act. He worked on numerous joint cases with the Federal Trade Commission and other states, including Colorado, on consumer protection matters. Mr. Hutchins is also a contributing author to Consumer Protection Law Developments, Second Edition. Previous to his work in the Attorney General's Office, Mr. Hutchins was in private practice in Anchorage, Alaska where he was the chief litigator for a firm. Mr. Hutchins represented municipalities on various matters. Mr. Hutchins provided counsel to businesses and investment advisors regarding compliance with securities laws. He was also a bond lawyer and worked on municipal financing matters. Prior to that, Mr. Hutchins practiced civil litigation with a law firm in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Mr. Hutchins devotes his spare time to his family, traveling and enjoying the great outdoors.

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Harmony Law is one of the few law firms in Colorado and Wyoming that focuses on consumer law. Mr. Hutchins is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and state chair for Wyoming. If you have a consumer law issue, please feel free to call 970-488-1857 and speak with Mr. Hutchins.

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