How to Deal with a Consumer's Frozen Credit File

Unfreeze your creditAs security breaches of consumer information continue to happen at a seemingly increasing rate, more and more consumers are placing a freeze on their credit file. As a mortgage broker or lender, it's very likely that you will encounter these "frozen" credit files in the course of business, if you haven't already. This can create problems when requesting a credit file if your customer doesn't know the proper procedure to follow to unfreeze their credit and allow you to pull their credit file. Following are instructions that you can give to your borrowers to unfreeze their credit file, and keep the loan process on track.

To allow their credit report to be pulled, the borrower must contact each of the credit bureaus to remove the credit freeze. A borrower can unfreeze their credit file permanently or temporarily. Instruct the borrower that if they choose temporarily, they may need to provide authorization again before the loan is finalized. Alternatively, consumers also have the option of providing their PINs to you (the lender) so that you can lift the credit freeze as needed during the loan process.

Each of the credit bureaus have slightly different requirements, but all will request the file access PIN issued when the borrower initially requested the credit freeze in order to unfreeze their credit. In addition to their PIN, the borrower should be prepared with the following information:

  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Complete Address
  • Proof of identity (birth certificate, driver's license, Social Security card, passport, etc.)
  • Proof of address (utility bill, bank statement, pay stub, driver's license)

Following is the contact information for Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Again, the borrower must contact each repository to lift the credit freeze:

Phone: 800-685-1111

Phone: 1.888.EXPERIAN (397-3742)

Phone: 888.909.8872