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Being proactive with frozen or locked credit files

November 20, 2018

With more and more consumers placing a security freeze or lock on their credit files, it's more important than ever for lenders to manage the credit reporting process to avoid costly re-pull fees and delays. Simply asking the consumer if they have a freeze or lock on their credit before requesting the report can save you from paying the fee to repull.

There are two options for lifting the freeze on a frozen credit file:

  1. The consumer contacts each of the credit repositories and lifts the freeze. You can find instructions for your borrower here: Unfreezing Credit for Mortgage
  2. The consumer provides you with the PIN they were given when they initially put a freeze on their credit file. This will allow you to lift the freeze as needed during the loan process. This is usually the most efficient option.

A credit report lock is slightly different than a freeze. According to Equifax, "A credit report lock or credit lock has the same impact on your credit report as a security freeze, but isn?t exactly the same. Credit report locks are mobile app-enabled and allow you to lock and unlock your credit reports using identity verification techniques such as usernames, passwords, and Touch ID or Face ID technology."

As with a freeze, the consumer must unlock their credit report separately at each nationwide credit bureau (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). In either case, consulting with the consumer before the initial credit pull will save lenders time and money.

If you have any questions about dealing frozen or locked credit files, or would like to talk about more ways Avantus can help you save money and close more loans, give us a call at 800-243-0120.




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