September 21, 2018

Crapo Bill Allows Consumers to Freeze and Unfreeze Credit for Free

Senator’s bill-now law-protects against identity theft and right-sizes regulations for community banks and credit unions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Federal Trade Commission announced that a provision in Senator Crapo’s Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) will go into effect, providing consumers who are concerned about identity theft or data breaches the option to freeze their credit and place one-year fraud alerts for free. Prior to the enactment of the bill, Idahoans had to pay up to $6 to place or remove freezes.

The bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, ushered into law by Crapo, who is the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, was signed into law on May 24, with the credit freeze provision going into effect 120 days after enactment. Today, September 21, consumers will have access to free credit freezes and unfreezes from all three credit agencies to protect themselves from fraud and identity theft.

“A security freeze is an important fraud-fighting tool against financial identity theft and data breaches,” said Crapo. “Starting today, you can freeze and thaw your account as many times as you need to for free. This is just one of several provisions in this law that will help to protect Idahoans from identity theft and other circumstances that could harm their credit.”

At its core, the Crapo bill right-sizes regulation for financial institutions, including community banks and credit unions, making it easier for consumers to get mortgages and obtain credit. It also increases important consumer protections, like offering free credit freezes and unfreezes, and protections for veterans, senior citizens and those who fall on tough financial times.

The provision will direct the three credit agencies—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion—to each set up a webpage for requesting fraud alerts and credit freezes. The FTC will also post links to those webpages on Freezing prevents activity that could impact a consumer’s credit score—such as fraudulent loans taken out by someone who has stolen your identity.

To learn more about the credit freeze provision, read the FTC’s press release here.

To learn more about the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, click here.