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Credit freezes and credit card applications

Established Member

Credit freezes and credit card applications



In the interest of security, I am thinking of opting to freeze my credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies.   I wonder how this would impact applying for credit cards, or asking for credit limit increases etc., in the future.


Once the credit freeze happens, I suppose I have to unfreeze my reports before I apply for a new credit card (or applying for a CLI on any of my existing credit cards)?   When should I be doing that?  Just a few minutes before applying?   Or a few hours before?  Or a few days?  A week or two?    

Also, is placing a fraud alert better/worse than freezing the credit report (both from the point of view of credit card applications and CLIs, as well as in terms of the level of security provided by fraud alert vs. credit freeze)?   


Please respond if you have answers to any of the above questions.






Credit Mentor

Re: Credit freezes and credit card applications

Purposing freezing your reports to avoid a HP is against our TOS .

EXP 780 EQ 791TU 795
Message 2 of 6
Super Contributor

Re: Credit freezes and credit card applications

Fraud Alert is a warning for FI's to verify before extending credit. It cannot be removed quickly but you can apply for credit with a Fraud Alert in place.

Credit Freeze can be removed for the purpose of applying for credit which can be thawed in a matter of minutes beforehand.  With a Freeze in place you and noone else can open a new tl.  The same goes for a Credit Lock except those usually aren't free like 3cb's freezes are with the exception of TU's TrueIdentity lock feature.


Also, some FI's have a policy that first they verify an application that has a Fraud Alert in place with a hp and then they reach out to you via phone call.  eg. Amex did this to me and that was their explanation when I asked about the order in verification.  Btw, this happened while adding employees to my business cc and the Fraud Alert had been removed a day or two prior.  So why? Not sure why but before you place such an alert be sure you really want any FI's taking those verification steps, which could be in any order.


My Take Home Pay Don't Take Me Home
Message 3 of 6
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Credit freezes and credit card applications

Just to note that a credit freeze is a governmental regulatory construct wereas a credit lock is pretty much just a service offering. Consequences to the CRA if they screw up and inappropriately release a frozen credit profile likely wouldn't be the same as if they screwed up and inappropriately released a locked credit profile. 


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Artist formerly known as the_old_curmudgeon who was formerly known as coldfusion
Message 4 of 6
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Credit freezes and credit card applications

As for timing goes.....typically an unlock happens within a few minutes if not instant.  A freeze can take up to an hour to be lifted after successfully requesting

Message 5 of 6
Valued Member

Re: Credit freezes and credit card applications

I learned it's best to keep your reports from the big three frozen, or locked to help prevent identity theft.  You are locking scamsters out of your credit data.

I spaced when I applied for Citi Double Ca and had my Experian locked when I applied for the card.  I got the 7-10 wait for snail mail letter message so I left it at that.   Later on I got an email from Experian advising me they blocked Citi from accessing my report.  I got another email advising me Citi pulled my Equifax.  It looks like Citi pulls two bureaus reports or will use one of the other if necessary it's weird but I thought I was screwed.  A couple days later I phoned the status line to find out what they had.  The department told me they had two applications from me. That is because I reapplied after unlocking my Experian.  They denied that one but had a problem verifying my phone number.  They sent a letter with a code I read back to them.   They also  verified my address   I also verified it was me in fact who applied for the card.  The credit manager then said I was approved for $5300 which I'm OK with because it's just me these days and my overall spending is low.  I have the Citi Custom Cash and a HYSA  as my emergency fund with Citi which may have helped me.

Message 6 of 6
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