As of September 21, 2018, anyone can freeze, unfreeze, or temporarily thaw a credit report for free. You must do this separately with each of the three major credit reporting agencies:
The only website authorized to provide your free, annual credit report.
Your Credit Scores
Case studies show the impact of different actions. By myFICO and Consumer Federation of America.
Understanding Your FICO® Score
Gives more detail about what variables are considered in each of the portions of the FICO score.
Consumer Reports, Protect Your Credit Report Rights.
Many consumers don’t take advantage of their right to access their credit reports. Even if they do, they may still fall prey to the sale of add-on items.
Bankruptcy Clinic, PC, Illinois Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection
Making a payment on an old debt will reset the clock for the statute of limitations that governs how long then can sue you to collect the debt.
myFICO.com, FICO Score Versions
Lists the most widely used versions of FICO by type of loan and which credit reporting agency provides the data.
Forbes.com, FICO 9: What You Need To Know About The Latest Credit Score
Explains changes in how paid collection items and medical debts in collection are treated by the new score version, but it’s yet being used by many lenders.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: What do I do if I think I have been a victim of identity theft?.
Includes links and phone number to place fraud alerts with all three major credit reporting agencies. Explains initial (90 day) and extended (7 year) fraud alerts, security freezes, and active duty alerts for military.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: What does it mean to put a security freeze on my credit report?
Includes links and phone numbers to freeze your file at the 3 major credit reporting agencies.
Consumer Reports, How to Lock Down Your Money After the Equifax Breach
This article goes beyond freezing your credit report to discuss protections for your financial accounts, smartphone, and email.
Consumer Reports, A Credit Freeze Won’t Help with All Equifax Breach Threats
Tips for preventing fraud involving your tax return, health insurance, and driver’s license