Remove credit report freeze before looking for new home

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When you hear about identity theft and security breaches you want to protect yourself. One way is to freeze your credit report, but there are warnings about that if you're looking to buy a home.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers contacted Equifax and learned once you put a security freeze on your credit report, you have the power to temporarily or permanently lift it, but timing is everything when it comes to applying for a home loan.

Mortgage lender Tim Lacyk of Amerifirst Financial tells the Problem Solvers “If you're needing to write an offer on a Saturday and you run your credit and it's frozen.. you can't get it unfrozen (in time), that house is going to be under contract by Monday and it's not going to be you.”

Lacyk warns that if you are even thinking about buying a home, consider the time frame for the application process and make sure you can lift the freeze in time. Prospective home buyers should also allow time for any problems that may arise in receiving pin numbers.

Equifax tells the Problem Solvers the company's Lock & Alert service allows the user to go online or use an app that provides eligible U.S. consumers with the ability to quickly lock and unlock their Equifax credit report for free, for life.

The associated app and online service provides instant alerts about whether an Equifax credit report is frozen.

Equifax says a consumer can temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze, at no cost, on an Equifax credit report through June 30, 2018.

Any security freeze activities after June 30, 2018, may be subject to the fees provided by the consumer’s state of residence.

For more information visit www.freeze.equifax.com.

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