How to "Freeze" Your Credit Files (10 pages)

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collecting child support payments or taxes or for investigating Medi-Cal fraud. Government

agencies may also have access in response to a court or administrative order, a subpoena, or a

search warrant.

Do I have to freeze my file with all three credit bureaus?

Yes. Different credit issuers may use different credit bureaus. If you want to stop your credit file

from being viewed, you need to freeze it with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Will a freeze lower my credit score?


Can an employer do a background check on me if I have a freeze on
my credit file?

No. You would have to lift the freeze to allow a background check or to apply for insurance, just

as you would to apply for credit. The process for lifting the freeze is described above.

Does freezing my file mean that I won’t receive pre-approved credit

No. You can stop the pre-approved credit offers by calling 888-5OPTOUT (567-8688). Or you

can do this online at This will stop most of the offers, the ones that go

through the credit bureaus. It’s good for five years or you can make it permanent.

Does my spouse’s file have to be frozen, too?

Yes. Both spouses have to freeze their separate credit files, via separate requests, in order to get

the benefit. That means the total cost for freezing for consumers under 65 years of age is $10 x 3

credit bureaus x 2 people = $60. For consumers 65 years of age or older, the total cost for

freezing is $5 x 3 credit bureaus x 2 people = $30.

What law requires security freezes?

The California law on security freeze is in the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies

Act, at California Civil Code §§ 1785.11.2-1785.11.6 and 1785.15.

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