How Can I Place a Security Freeze on My Credit Report?
Colorado Consumers have the option of requesting any consumer reporting agency (credit bureau) to place a security freeze on your credit report.
You will be able to place a security freeze on your credit reports by making a request in writing by certified mail to each consumer reporting agency you want to place a security freeze on your file.
Once a security freeze is in place, the consumer reporting agency will not be able to release your credit report, or any information contained in that report, without your prior express authorization.
A consumer reporting agency must place a security freeze on your credit report within 5 business days after receiving your written request and must send you written confirmation of the security freeze within ten business days. They must provide you with a unique personal identification number or password for you to use in providing later authorization for the release of information from your credit report.
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To view information on requesting a security freeze from the three largest consumer reporting agencies, visit the following web sites:
If you want potential creditors to be able to access information on your credit report, you must request that the freeze be temporarily lifted and provide the following information:
- Proper identification.
- The unique personal identification number and password provided by the consumer reporting agency.
- The proper information regarding the third party who is to receive the credit report or the time period that the report shall be available.
- The consumer reporting agency must remove a security freeze within three business days of receiving a request for removal from you. Failure to timely or correctly request a temporary or permanent removal of a security freeze on your account may result in the loss or denial of credit.
A credit reporting agency cannot charge for the initial placement of a security freeze. However, it may charge up to $10 for the temporary or permanent removal of a security freeze and for the reinstitution of a security freeze after it has been permanently removed. That charge may not exceed $12 if you are requesting to temporarily lift a security freeze to allow a specific party to access your credit information.
Note a security freeze placed on a consumer’s credit report will not block access to that report, or to the information contained in that report, from any of the following:
- Any person that owns a financial obligation owing by the consumer for the purposes of reviewing the account or collecting that financial obligation.
- An assignee or prospective assignee of a financial obligation owing by the consumer.
- A subsidiary, affiliate, agent, assignee or a prospective assignee of a person to whom access to a consumer’s credit report has been granted for the purpose of facilitating the extension of credit or other permissible use.
- A state or local agency, law enforcement, trial court, private collection agency, or person acting pursuant to a court order, warrant, or subpoena authorizing the use of the credit report.
- A child support enforcement agency enforcing a child support obligation.
- The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing acting to investigate fraud.
- The Colorado Department of Human Service acting to investigate fraud.
- The Colorado Department of Revenue acting to investigate or collect delinquent taxes or unpaid court orders.
- The use of credit information for the purpose of prescreening as provided by the “Fair Credit Reporting Act,” 15 U.S.C. 1681.
- Any person or entities administering a credit file monitoring subscription service to which the consumer has subscribed.
- Any person or entity for the purpose of providing a consumer with a copy of his or her credit report upon the consumer’s request.
- Any person or entity for use in setting or adjusting a rate, adjusting a claim, or underwriting for insurance purposes.
- A pension plan acting to determine the consumer’s eligibility for plan benefits or payments authorized by law to investigate fraud.
- A person conducting a pre-sentence investigation in a criminal matter or a probation officer using this information for supervision of an offender.
- A collections investigator engaged in the collecting of fees, fines, or restitution in a court proceeding.
- A licensed hospital with which the consumer has or had a contract, or a debtor-creditor relationship for the purpose of reviewing the account or collecting the financial obligation owing on the account.
- A law enforcement agency acting to investigate a crime or conducting a criminal background check.
If you believe you have been victimized by Identity Theft, file a report with the Colorado Bureau of Investigations Identity Theft Unit online or by telephone at 1-855-443-3489 (toll free).