New Bill Proposes Free Credit Freezing after Equifax Breach

September 18, 2017, Written By Bill Hardekopf
New Bill Proposes Free Credit Freezing after Equifax Breach

Democratic senators Elizabeth Warren and Brian Schatz recently introduced a bill to make credit freezing and unfreezing free to all consumers. The bill is designed to ensure that Equifax cannot profit from the aftermath of its data breach, which affected over 143 million Americans.

A credit freeze prevents a person from applying for a loan or line of credit. This is beneficial during times of identity theft because it protects victims from unauthorized debt or damage to their credit. Credit freezing is a proactive solution, rather than retro-actively contacting a credit bureau once an issue arises.

Credit freezes can cost anywhere from $2 to $10, depending on a person’s location. It also costs money to lift a credit freeze. Equifax recently agreed to waive its credit freezing fee for 30 days and refund anyone who paid for a freeze after the data breach. The new bill, known as the Freedom From Equifax Exploitation Act (FREE Act), would make free credit freezing the standard for all three bureaus, well beyond the one-month timeframe.

The cybersecurity incident is still under investigation, but Equifax has made some personnel changes. The Chief Information Officer and Chief Security Officer are retiring, and new executives have been appointed in their place.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of September 18, 2017. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.

About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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