Beginning in 2007, Illinois residents may take advantage of a new law that allows them to place a security freeze on their credit reports. Unfortunately for our Georgia clients, a recent proposal to implement such a law was defeated by state lawmakers.
For those of you in Illinois, the new law prohibits credit bureaus from releasing your credit file information without your permission. Before this year, only victims of identity theft were allowed to place such a freeze.
Placing a security freeze on your credit reports makes it tougher for identity thieves to obtain credit in your name. To place the freeze, you must send a written request, via certified mail, to each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian). You can then use a unique PIN number to temporarily lift the freeze when you want to apply for credit. There may be a charge for doing so.
The credit freeze process is free to Illinois residents over the age of 65 and to those who have been victims of identity theft. Other Illinois residents must pay $10 per transaction (in other words, $30 for all three major bureaus), whether to place a freeze or permanently remove it.
More information is available at, http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/.