Credit freeze for defence from identity threats

Updated on June 10, 2022, 5:30 a.m.

Identification fraud can be a shocking and depressing problem that has far reaching consequences and can be difficult to fix it. Unfortunately, identity robbery cases continue to increase.

After the invasion of the digital technologies and due to the rise of Covid 19 one can see an exorbitant rise of various online frauds in India and other nations in the world. If you have been a victim of such a fraud and want to increase the secure your credit and credit score history, then you can place a security lock on your records with protection called Credit Freeze.

What is Credit Freeze?

Let us look at the term Credit freeze, it is a process that locks your payment and repayment history, which is maintained at the consumer reporting agency like CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau India Limited, Experian and others. This makes it impossible to release the data without your permission to an unknown party. They are also termed as Security Freeze, Credit Lock or Credit Report Freeze.

Credit freeze protects the account from being misused and thus, prevents the identify theft. Since, this kind of fraud has been an ongoing problem around the world, credit freeze has been initiated by the national law and it is implemented in most of the countries of the world.

Let us say, Vikram, applies for a loan at a bank and as they receives the application, they will check his credit worthiness. They will communicate with Credit Reporting Agencies and they will create a Credit Information Report.

They will give a score of Vikram to the bank to empower the bank to know, whether they should lend the money or not.  Vikram will not like his details to be shared with other financial institutions, as his ratings is good. Since he does not want details to be shared with others, the details will be blocked and it is known as Credit Freeze.

What Does the Credit Freeze Do?

It secures your account from being used by others for loans or opening an account under your name by locking the credit. This security program does not allow anyone to access your credit data including you, unless a written notification is submitted to credit bureaus with your personal identification number.

Credit freeze does not allow the agencies, lenders, insurers or others to access your data. This sometimes might create a problem when you apply for a loan and the creditors want to access your account details. Therefore, plan your monetary requirements properly because instant credit would not be possible during the credit freeze on your repayment history. 

This freeze on your credit reporting blocks the account details, new applications, information, restricting instant access to funds you might need. However, all your existing creditors will be able to view your details, whenever they want.

Freezing your credit rating score isn’t fully guaranteed against identification fraud. If your creditors or lenders bypass the credit assessment, an identification thief can still open records in your name.Besides, you should also know that not all types of identification fraud involve opening up of new accounts with your credentials.

Credit Freeze Charges

The cost of freezing the account varies depending up the credit bureaus. Generally, there is no credit freeze fee charged every time you freeze your personal information in India. All the major credit bureaus have made a beneficial option available for the consumers who are the victims of identity theft to waive the fees.

How to freeze Your Credit Score?

To freeze the credit score, you must inform the Credit Reporting Agencies like Equifax, Experian, TransUnion and CIBIL that your details must not be shared. You must submit various documents to the bank regarding the same and they will do an analysis on your account with the particulars that you have offered. After they will freeze your credit scores.

Who Can Access the Customer Files?

The creditors also cannot view or access the data while there is a credit lock, they will be able to see a message or a code specifying that files or data are locked. This can be viewed only by your existing creditors and certain agencies dealing with law enforcement like Criminal Background Check, Third Party Verification, Credit card Companies or any other financial institutions.

Requirements of Credit Freeze and Unfreeze

The letter of notice to freeze your account having repayment history needs to be addressed to each Credit Bureau including your Photo ID, Aadhar Card Number, PAN Card Number and Address proof. The credit bureaus, after reviewing the submitted documents upon approval, will send you a personal identification number through mail.

Notification to the credit bureaus by submitting the personal identification number is required to unfreeze your credit lock. Temporary release of the customer report can be authorised on the name of the person who should receive it and this is done case by case basis.

Different credit bureaus will have different methods of working and freezing the credit reports. Some of the credit bureaus accept your request in paper and some online.

The customers who require a loan, job or insurance policy, will have to unfreeze the access to their credit ratings. They can temporarily suspend the facility by placing a request to Credit Bureaus by mail or phone calls.

Reasons Why You Should Go for Credit Freeze

Freezing the credit is considered to be both advantageous and disadvantages for an individual because of many reasons. Freezing the access to our details completely depends on you, as you might have been a victim of following activities given below like:

  • Identity Theft
  • New Account Fraud
  • Credit Card Being Stolen
  • Wallet Or Purse Being Misplaced
  • Personal Identification Number Being Misplaced

The good thing about this protection service is it can be relaxed by submitting a request, however if it is repeated a lot of times, you might end up paying money more than required on it.


A credit score freeze is an easy way to secure your credit score profile against identity thieves. It is either free, or fairly reasonable in western world and highly effective against allowing new lines of credit score from being opened.

The only downside is that it can be a little troublesome to unfreeze your credit score account if you need immediate access to it. However, this is a small price you need to pay for the added security and peace of mind, which you get in the near future.

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