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I recently applied online for a new credit card, after which I received an immediate response that my application was pending. I was a little worried: “Pending” could mean my application was denied, or that the issuer needed more information to make a decision.
When I called, the representative said the card issuer had tried but failed to access both my Experian and TransUnion credit reports. Whoops! I’d forgotten that I froze my reports, and I didn’t unfreeze (aka thaw) them before I applied. As a result, the card issuer wasn’t able to review my credit.
In this case, I asked the representative to check my Equifax credit report, which I’d had trouble freezing. After they spent a few minutes reviewing it, they approved me for the new card over the phone.
This extra hoop was a blessing in disguise. If someone nefarious had tried to open up a card in my name, the credit freeze almost certainly would have blocked them. Monitoring your credit after a data breach is important, but the best way to stop fraud is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Source: NY Times – Wirecutter
Keyword: How to Freeze Your Credit Reports