Soon You Won’t Have to Pay to Freeze Your Credit — Here Are the Details

Kaye Kingkade withdrawals money out of the ATM at Mount McKinley Bank in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

President Trump signed off on a new law this week that will make it easier to protect your credit in an age of all-too-plentiful breaches.

The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, known primarily for its features that relax some of the regulations from the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, makes freezing your credit free.

A credit freeze prevents anyone from opening new lines of credit in your name. It typically costs between $5 and $15 to establish, with a second charge to unlock the freeze. Victims of fraud can typically set up a credit freeze for free.

The legislation also prohibits charging for a temporary lift of a freeze, which you might request if you want to apply for a loan.

Additionally, the bill extends the default length of free fraud alerts from 90 days to one year.

Senators requested these credit-related additions to the bill a month after it was introduced last November in an effort to address the widespread breach of personal data at credit reporting bureau Equifax. The bureau has extended its offer of free credit freezes through June 2018.

Don’t expect these fees to lift immediately. The new rule doesn’t go into effect until September.

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.