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. Mr. Hutchins started his career as a lawyer in Cheyenne, Wyoming. First gaining experience as a law clerk for the district court judges, Mr. Hutchins entered private practice with a Cheyenne firm focused on civil litigation, business law and some general practice law. Later, Mr. Hutchins went to Alaska, where he was the chief litigator for a firm that engaged in bond law, corporate law, securities law, and the broad reach of municipal law. Mr. Hutchins returned to Cheyenne to represent the State of Wyoming in the national tobacco arbitration. While in that position, he developed the consumer protection unit for the Wyoming Attorney General's Office. He led over 120 investigations and enforcement actions in Wyoming and worked on numerous joint cases with the Federal Trade Commission and other states, including Colorado. Mr. Hutchins relocated to Colorado in 2016 and founded Harmony Law. Mr. Hutchins has established Harmony Law in three principal areas of law. First, it is a general practice firm in the areas of business law, estate planning and family law. Secondly, it is a civil litigation firm, practicing law in state and federal courts throughout Wyoming and Colorado. Finally, it is one of the few firms in Wyoming or Colorado that focuses on consumer protection law.


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