Updated: Aug 26
A couple years ago, we had to unexpectedly fire our house cleaner after she broke our trust. It was unfortunate, but what was more worrisome was the fact that I had carelessly left out documents with Social Security numbers and other sensitive information in our office a handful of times. I couldn't be sure she hadn't seen them, and I was totally panicked.
On another occasion, my mail was stolen from the apartment complex at which I was temporarily living... and the stolen mail included several important tax documents.
Oh vey! What to do?
Both of these occurrences prompted me to place a credit freeze.
And now, I want to share what a credit freeze is, and why and how to do it.
A credit freeze means that no one can open credit in your name. If you believe someone has access to or has stolen your Social Security number or other information, placing a credit freeze is a great precautionary measure.
You will need to place a freeze at all 3 credit bureaus and it's free to do. Here are the links:
If you have kids, I highly recommend freezing their credit until they are 18 years old or ready to open a credit card. They are targets, because why would you ever think to check their credit? It's easier for someone to steal the identity of a child.
Last tip: CreditKarma is a free service where you can monitor your credit. I've had an account for years, it's legit, and I check my credit at least once a week. Even if I didn't place those credit freezes, I would have quickly caught any concerning red flags. It's also a good way to monitor your credit score!
Want to grab my free budgeting and net worth worksheets? Just go here!