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Credit Lock FAQ

Note: This article applies to members who are not enrolled in our Credit Lock beta program. If you don’t have access to Credit Lock beta program at this time, Credit Karma will still be able to tell you whether your credit report is locked through TransUnion and/or Equifax.

If you are part of the Credit Lock beta program, you can now directly lock your TransUnion credit report through your Credit Karma account. Read the Credit Lock Beta FAQ here.

Click here to add yourself to the waitlist for the Credit Lock beta program.

 

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What is Credit Lock?

Why should I lock my credit?

What a credit lock does and doesn’t do

How can I join the Credit Lock beta program?

How can I lock my credit with the 3 credit bureaus?

How long will it take for my credit report to unlock?

I recently locked or unlocked my credit report directly with a bureau but Credit Karma isn’t reflecting the changes.

Can I both lock and freeze my credit at the same time?

Will a credit lock or freeze affect my credit scores?

 

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What is a Credit Lock?

A credit lock is a security measure that makes it difficult for would-be fraudsters to open new financial accounts in your name by putting a lock on your credit reports. Different companies will use different credit bureaus, so locking your credit report at all 3 major consumer credit bureaus is the best way to help keep your credit more secure.

A credit lock is different from a credit freeze. A credit lock provides more flexibility, as it is quicker to place and lift a lock.

Learn more about the difference between Credit Lock and Credit Freeze here.

Why should I lock my credit?

Locking your credit prevents creditors from gaining access to your credit report for most applications. If your credit is locked with all 3 major consumer credit bureaus, someone who has gained access to your identity will have difficulty opening new accounts using your name.

What a credit lock does and doesn’t do

A credit lock will:

  • Prevent creditors from gaining access to your credit report for most applications

A credit lock won’t:

  • Affect your ability to use credit monitoring services, such as Credit Karma
  • Directly impact your credit scores, however your scores can still change while your credit is locked
  • Stop you from receiving pre-screened offers of credit
  • Prevent you from using existing credit accounts

 

How do I join the Credit Lock beta program?

The ability to instantly place a Credit Lock on your TransUnion credit report through Credit Karma is currently being rolled out to only some of our members. If your friend can see it but you don’t, click here to add yourself to the waitlist!

How can I lock my credit directly with the bureaus?

To lock your credit reports directly with the 3 major consumer credit bureaus, you can contact the bureaus:

TransUnion Credit Lock:
https://www.transunion.com/product/trueidentity-free-identity-protection  
1-888-909-8872

Equifax Lock and Alert™:
https://www.equifax.com/personal/products/credit/credit-lock-alert/
1-888-298-0045

Experian:

Locking your credit report with Experian is currently $19.99 a month (as of December 2018) . However, freezing your credit with Experian is free:
https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
1-888-397-3742

The fees to lock your credit report with the bureaus will vary for each bureau. However, placing a freeze on your credit directly through the bureaus is free. Learn more about the difference between Credit Lock and Credit Freeze here.

How long will it take for my credit report to unlock?

Changing the lock status directly with the credit bureaus can be instant if done online, but may take longer if done via phone.

If you unlock a credit report with 1 bureau, it won’t automatically unlock your credit with the other 2 credit bureaus. You should unlock the reports with all 3 bureaus before proceeding with a loan or credit application, as different companies will use different credit bureaus for reporting.

I recently locked or unlocked my credit report directly with a bureau but Credit Karma isn’t reflecting the changes.

If you’ve recently updated the lock status on your account with the credit bureaus directly, there may be a delay in displaying the updated status on Credit Karma. We update your lock status every 7 days, so if you notice a mismatch, check back in a few days.

If the account has been displaying the wrong lock status for over 7 days, contact our member support team.

Can I both lock and freeze my credit at the same time?

No, each credit report can only be locked or frozen at any given time.

Will a credit lock or freeze affect my credit scores?

Locking or freezing your credit will not directly impact your credit scores. However, your credit scores will still be able to change while your credit is locked or frozen.

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