This article isn’t about taxes at all. It’s about your credit. Sadly, with a few key pieces of information that are readily and cheaply available, folks with bad intentions can obtain credit in your name. How do you prevent this? Freeze your credit.

Generally, creditors only issue new credit after accessing and reviewing your credit report – and freezing your credit prevents them from doing this. Only you can temporarily or permanently lift the freeze using a security code you are issued when it is initially frozen. A credit freeze is a good idea for anyone not expecting have their credit report pulled in the near future, particularly children and seniors. On the other hand, if you are planning to need credit or have your credit report pulled soon – to refinance your mortgage or change cell phone providers, for example – you may want to postpone placing a freeze on your credit and do it once these changes are in place.

As of 2018, credit freezes are free for consumers, but you need to freeze it with all three bureaus, ExperianTransUnion, and Equifax. Feel free to reach out if I can answer any questions about how to protect your credit.