You can unfreeze your credit report either temporarily or permanently. A temporary thawing makes your credit report available to creditors for a few days, while a permanent thawing makes it available until you choose to freeze it again. Unfreeze your credit report if you are applying for credit or employment and know that the creditors or employers will likely check your history. Plan ahead so your report is available for the search. Unfortunately, there is no central website to unfreeze credit reports for the three credit-reporting agencies so you must submit your request to each agency.
Temporary Credit Report Thaw
Visit one of the three credit reporting agencies online and log in to your account, if necessary. Proceed to the temporary credit report unfreeze form.
Enter your identifying information into the appropriate boxes on the form. On Experian’s credit unfreeze form, for instance, enter your name, address, phone number, date of birth and your social security number. Also enter the personal identification number that the agency provided when you froze your credit history.
Choose how long you want your credit history available. On the Experian form, you can unfreeze your credit report for 7, 15 or 30 days by default. You can also enter a different number of days if you want your report available for more or fewer days.
Agree to the terms of service and submit the form. Your credit report is released within minutes and is available for the period of time you selected.
Repeat the process for the remaining agencies. It is possible to make your request to each credit reporting company on the phone or by mail, but the online process is faster.
Permanent Credit Report Thaw
Visit each of the credit reporting agencies online and complete a form to permanently remove a security freeze on your credit report. You may also make your request on the phone.
Contact the credit reporting agencies by mail. Write a formal letter to Experian and Equifax, asking to permanently remove the security freeze from your credit history. Provide your name, address, date of birth, social security number, PIN and a copy of two forms of identification. When you contact TransUnion, use the form that the company sent to you when you placed the security freeze.
Pay the fee for the request, if applicable, whether you applied online, by phone or by mail. The service is free if you are a victim of identity theft. Equifax and Experian do not charge individuals aged 65 and older. The three companies charge $10 for everyone else.
- The amount of time required to unfreeze a credit report varies by states. It takes a few minutes in some states but could take three days in others.
- Mailing and phone contact information for the three credit reporting agencies is:
- Equifax Security Freeze
- P.O. Box 105788
- Atlanta, GA 30348
- Phone: 1-800-685-1111
- Experian Security Freeze
- P. O. Box 9554
- Allen, TX 75013
- 1-888-EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742)
- Fraud Victim Assistance
- P.O. Box 6790 Fullerton, CA 92834
Tina Amo has been writing business-related content since 2006. Her articles appear on various well-known websites. Amo holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in information systems.