Little did I know that there is a fourth and smaller US credit service bureau called Innovis that we also need to worry about in terms of locking/freezing our credit reports.
Innovis is business-focused which probably means that businesses use it to get a credit report on you and me unlike banks and financial institutions which use the three major bureaus.
Whatever the purpose Innovis may serve, if they have my credit report, I want it locked or frozen, period. Call me paranoid, but given the extent of Equifax security breach and its potential implications, I'm not taking any chances.
So, I went to Innovis' website https://www.innovis.com/ to see how much I would have to fork up to freeze my credit report. Mind you, I'm not looking to get another locking or monitoring service. I just want to freeze my credit report at Innovis for good, as I don't think I would need to unfreeze it for consumer related credit transactions.
I was able to find the Security Freeze option listed on their main website under Personal Solutions.
I chose to fill out their online form which was quite simple and painless. I was expecting them to ask me for my credit card to pay for Security Freeze fee, but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't have to pay anything to set the Freeze.
One thing to note, they did not ask for identification such as a driver's license which means anyone that has your personal information such as name, DOB, and SS# can potentially freeze your credit report. Therefore, it's a good idea to go and freeze it yourself before some bad guys beat you to it.
After filling out the Innovis Security Freeze Form, I got an instant confirmation that my Security Freeze is in place:
I can't believe it was so easy and free to set Security Freeze with Innovis. Kudos to Innovis. Why can't other bureaus be like Innovis?
Equifax is offering free credit monitoring service to all US consumers who may or may not have been impacted by the recent Equifax security breach.
I was told by the Equifax Impact Tool that I'm one of those unfortunate 143 million Americans who have been impacted. Therefore, I must sign up for their free monitoring service.
They gave me an enrollment date when I can sign up for free. My enrollment date was today, so I went ahead and filled out the information for enrollment, hoping that I would be able to enroll right away.
But to my displeasure, I may have to wait a few more days for the enrollment to become active. Here is the message I got from Equifax:
However, I would like to stop paying them as soon as possible and use the free service instead. They owe us free service for life!
Updated on 9/17/2017 - Finally and after 5 days of wait, I received a confirmation email from Equifax TrustedID. However, there is a wait of additional 48 hours to process an enrollment (no idea why it is taking them so long with trustedID as their paid membership enrollment happens almost instantaneously).
Let me know if you have tried to sign up for Equifax free monitoring service and whether you were successful in activating it or not. Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the companies listed in this article. I'm only sharing what I've done to protect my credit report amid Equifax's security breach. The information I have provided above is accurate to the best of my knowledge and at the time of writing this article. Before signing up with any of the services mentioned above, please ensure to read and understand the features you are getting, the level of protection, and the overall cost.