Do you remember the Target and Neiman Marcus security breaches during the holiday season of 2013? Millions of consumers’ personal and credit card information was compromised leaving them open to identity and credit card theft.
We at First Home Mortgage in Richmond, VA, continue to see one aftershock from this event even nine months later: clients with FROZEN credit. Many victims were advised to combat the security breach by freezing their credit report so that no new credit could be opened until they authorized it.
However, when clients with frozen credit go to apply for a car loan, mortgage loan, new credit card, etc. the lender will not be able to view their credit report and extend credit to them. Luckily, there’s a pretty quick fix to this dilemma…
Removing Your Credit Freeze
If you have frozen your credit, you will need to “thaw your credit” so that your mortgage lender can view your credit report. You can permanently remove the credit freeze or you may opt to temporarily lift the freeze–this way, once your credit has been pulled, you can place the freeze back on your credit report and restore the protection.
If you only authorize a temporary removal of the freeze, you may need to unfreeze your credit report again just prior to closing when a credit refresh is completed. Lenders use credit refreshes to make sure you haven’t opened new credit or run up credit card balances between your initial loan application and closing.
Each credit bureau provides directions for thawing your credit on their website:
Credit Freeze 411
If you believe your personal information has been compromised, the Federal Trade Commission has some great advice on how to protect your credit with fraud alerts and credit freezes.
If you have any questions about credit freezes and your mortgage loan application, feel free to contact me.