Credit is a tool that you can leverage if managed properly. But what happens when the stellar credit rating you’ve worked so hard to achieve tanks due to identity theft? Oftentimes, it could take months or even years to sort it all out. However, you can be proactive and minimize unauthorized credit activity by securing your credit file.
Consider Experian CreditLock to block access to your credit file on your terms.
Experian is the largest credit reporting agency in the world. It was established 125 years ago and currently serves consumers and business entities in 30 countries. You can use Experian to access your credit reports and FICO scores, gain valuable insights on ways to improve your credit health, get customized credit recommendations, and so much more.
What is Experian CreditLock?
Experian CreditLock is a tool that lets you lock your Experian credit profile to shield it from fraudsters and unauthorized credit activity. It also helps protect you from identity theft.
How Does Experian CreditLock Work?
It only takes a second to lock your credit profile with Experian CreditLock. Simply tap the button, and Experian will send you an alert confirming your request to lock your Experian Credit File. After that, you’re free to unlock your profile and lock it again at any time.
When your credit profile is secured, you’ll receive a real-time alert anytime a credit application is attempted in your name. Your Experian credit file will also be inaccessible to lenders, creditors, banks, utility providers, cellular service providers and landlords or rental companies attempting to review it to make a credit decision.
However, Experian CreditLock does allow these parties to access your credit file even if it’s locked:
- Collection agencies working to collect delinquent debt
- Creditors, lenders and other entities who you currently have a credit relationship with you
- Prospective insurance companies and employers
- Creditors offering pre-screened loans and credit card offers
Experian will also review your credit file to determine if you’re a good fit for personalized credit offers. You’re also able to access your Experian File, whether it’s locked or unlocked.
Credit Lock vs. Security Freeze
Experian CreditLock is a preventative measure designed to protect your credit file. However, a security freeze is typically implemented once you suspect you’re a victim of identity theft.
Here are some instances where requesting a credit freeze is sensible:
- You notice unauthorized inquiries on your credit report.
- You receive bills for purchases you don’t recognize.
- You suddenly stop receiving bills for purchases you authorized.
- A creditor, bank or financial institution alerts you to fraudulent activity that’s occurred in your name.
- A company notifies you in writing of a data breach where your personal data was compromised.
It’s free to place a security freeze on your credit file. Like Experian CreditLock, it prevents lenders and creditors from accessing your report if an application for credit is submitted in your name. You’ll need to lift it if you wish to apply for credit.
What Features Does Experian CreditLock Have?
Below are the key features of Experian CreditLock:
One Touch Credit Lock
Experian CreditLock lets you secure your Experian Credit File at the tap of a button. It helps prevent unauthorized access to your information that could lead to identity theft. Plus, you’ll receive a real-time alert if Experian detects new credit activity or attempts to apply for credit in your name after your file is secured.
Up to $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance
You’ll also get up to $1 million in identity theft protection when you sign up for Experian CreditLock. There’s no deductible, and you can rest assured knowing you’re covered in the unfortunate event your identity is stolen. The coverage takes care of costs related to restoring your identity, including lost wages, travel expenses, fraudulent funds transfers and legal fees.
Dedicated Team of Credit and Fraud Resolution Agents
It can be challenging to resolve identity theft or fraud on your own. So, Experian gives you access to a dedicated team of credit and fraud resolution agents to provide the support you need. They’re accessible 7 days a week at a toll-free number. And when you call, a Fraud Resolution Agent will work directly with you from start to finish to help resolve your issue.
3-Bureau Credit Monitoring
It’s time-consuming to constantly monitor credit activity across the three credit bureaus on your own. But Experian makes it easy to monitor your reports by providing real-time notifications in one place. You’ll also receive email alerts any time changes to your Experian, TransUnion and Equifax profiles are made to stay in the know regarding your credit report. That way, you can make smarter financial moves and identify signs of identity theft or other suspicious activity sooner.
Monthly 3-Bureau Updates
Experian CreditLock also features credit reports and FICO score updates. Your credit data is refreshed every 30 days and accessible via the Experian dashboard. Viewing this information in one place makes it easier to compare credit reports and activity from the three major credit reporting agencies – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
Monitor Your Credit with Experian Dashboard
Access your Experian Credit Report and FICO Score based on Experian data daily by logging into the Experian dashboard. It also includes a breakdown of what’s impacting your credit score and valuable insight on how to improve it.
Advantages of Experian CreditLock
There’s a lot to love about Experian CreditLock. For starters, you can control access to your Experian credit file from the comfort of your own home or while on the go from your mobile device. Doing so prevents your Experian credit data from being compromised. Plus, you’ll ward off thieves looking to gain unauthorized access to your credit file and commit fraudulent purchases or identity theft.
This valuable tool is also a part of the Experian CreditWorks Premium membership. When you enroll, you’ll enjoy these benefits:
- Three-bureau credit monitoring for new credit inquiries, new accounts, account balance changes, credit utilization changes, positive activity and dormant accounts
- Daily Experian credit report and FICO Score updates
- Monthly three-bureau credit report and FICO Score updates
- FICO score alerts, tracking and the FICO score simulator
- Access to Experian Boost to help improve your FICO Score based on Experian data in real-time
- Dark web surveillance, identity theft monitoring and identity theft alerts
- Identify theft insurance coverage of up to $1,000,000
- Access to a U.S.-based fraud resolution specialist
- Lost wallet assistance
Should You Use Experian CreditLock, and Is It Enough to Protect You?
Experian CreditLock is a viable and affordable way to secure your credit information. By being proactive, you can avoid the hassle and added stress that comes with cleaning up the financial messes if you fall victim to identity theft. Plus, it comes with a host of perks to help you stay on top of and improve your credit health.
There’s no surefire way to completely prevent identity theft. And since the tool doesn’t extend to TransUnion and Equifax, you’ll have to keep close tabs on those reports as well. Also, you could be victimized by medical identity theft, tax fraud and employment fraud, even if your credit file is locked. Still, taking advantage of Experian CreditLock is a step in the right direction.
How Long Does It Take for Experian CreditLock to Work?
Experian CreditLock works immediately. There’s no waiting period, and you can lock and unlock your credit file instantly.
How Much Does Experian Credit Lock Cost?
As mentioned above, Experian CreditLock is free with an Experian CreditWorks Premium membership. In addition, the monthly membership fee is just $24.99 following a 7-day free trial.
Protect Your Credit Information with Experian CreditLock
When you’re ready to protect your valuable credit information and limit access against fraud and identity theft, sign up for an Experian CreditWorks Premium membership. It won’t take up much of your time, and you’ll have access to an assortment of other credit-related resources.