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3 Thoughts You Have As Equifax Credit Lock Approaches | equifax credit lock

Equifax has certainly made good on it's promise of free lifetime credit locks after last year's massive data leak. The launch of the Lock & Alert system which allows users to just swipe or click on a button to lock and unlock their existing credit files has proved hugely popular, with many satisfied consumers reporting no irregularities. The system isn't without problems, however. Problems arise for consumers who want to avoid paying for Lock & alerts as they can be quite expensive depending on how often you need to make a payment.

The first and most common complaint about Lock & Alert is that it is actually a very difficult feature to turn on. A consumer may be able to activate the freeze feature but it isn't until they've actually sent three payment requests to Equifax that the freeze kicks in. Consumers aren't automatically taken off a freeze though – they can still'request a payment' and the process will go ahead. The only true way for consumers to get out of Lock & Freeze is by paying for it via online using a Credit Card or Debit card. It is then possible for the freeze to be lifted if there is positive movement towards payments being received. At least, until consumers attempt to send a fourth payment request to Equifax.

If there's nothing else to worry about with Lock & Alert it is probably due to the fact that it only locks your credit report for six months. That means that after the initial period of free protection, you'll once more have to pay for it again. After that time period consumers can choose whether to keep Lock & Alert on their profile, or to turn it off.

One of the biggest complaints about Lock & Alert is that it is a deceptively sneaky little scam. When a consumer requests that their Lock & Alert be lifted, Equifax will typically ask for the consumer to sign a form for Extra Notice of Credit Protection. There is nothing in there about waiving Lock & Alert, or arbitration clause issues. It is clear from the very start that Equifax is not interested in having this important tool automatically lifted once the credit report dispute has been submitted, and is only interested in one of two situations: either the consumer pays an additional fee for Lock & Alert to be waived, or that the consumer agrees to arbitration.

Some people wonder if it is even legal to have a third party put Lock & Alert on your credit reports in the first place. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there are some situations where having a third party to unlock your data can be legal. For example, if you had purchased a car with a locked garage, you would likely not now have the key. Similarly, if you had signed up for auto insurance that contained a Lock & Unlock provision, it would probably be illegal for an insurance company to remotely attempt to have locks changed without your authorization. However, because Lock & Alert is not among those situations, the FTC does not necessarily recommend having it added to your credit reports.

Consumers are advised against having Lock & Unlock features added to their credit accounts. This is because they can actually increase your debt by making it impossible to make any payments if your credit account freeze is triggered. Another danger of having Lock & Unlock installed is that it can force you to pay charges for having your locks changed, even if you don't remember requesting them to be removed. Equifax locks are often associated with “freeze and hold” orders, which are just as bad as having deadbolt locks installed. Even if you are not delinquent on your outstanding debts, Lock & Unlock can still negatively impact your credit score, which could make future purchases impossible.

Fortunately, there are other ways to avoid having Lock & Unlock installed on your account. One way is to avoid using the Stored Value Credit Freeze feature on your Equifax credit card. Instead of using this option, you should try to use the Freeze & Hold option offered on your credit card. If this doesn't work, you can also call Equifax and ask for help on unlocking frozen accounts. The FTC website has a toll-free number where you can call to speak to an authorized representative about Lock & Unlock or freeze-and-hold policies. You can also request an automated credit lock from Equifax.

There is also the option of calling the Equifax Freezes hotline to find out more information on Lock & Unlock. If you do choose to take advantage of this option, you will probably be referred to an Experian representative who can provide you with the information you need regarding this issue. If you are still locked out of your Equifax account, then you may want to try calling Experian. This is because many people have reported having their Experian freeze or lock removed after calling the Experian Freezes hotline and requesting a refund.

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