Locking Your Credit - Service First Mortgage

It’s an unfortunate truth that every year many people are victims of credit fraud and identity theft, so it’s never a bad idea to look at how you can take precautionary measures to make sure your identity and credit stay secure.

Besides reviewing your free credit report annually, you can take the extra step of locking your credit. Here’s what you need to know.

HOW IT WORKS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

A credit lock, also known as a security lock, is a process where you can block access to your credit report to help prevent fraudsters from opening up accounts or borrowing money in your name. It has the same effect as a credit freeze but it is much quicker to lock and unlock your credit than it is to freeze and “thaw” it.

It’s important to note that when you want to lock your credit, you have to make the request at all three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). The process will vary among the credit bureaus, but once you verify your identity with all three bureaus, they will set you up with a way to instantly lock and unlock your credit whenever you see fit.

Here are links that will let you know how to lock your credit at each bureau:

LOCKING YOUR CREDIT AND HOMEOWNERSHIP

Now you’re probably wondering why we’re talking about locking your credit when one of the first steps in the mortgage process is a credit check. Being able to lock and unlock your credit instantly allows you to have peace of mind while still giving you the ability to apply for a home loan. If someone were to open credit cards and other accounts in your name, that could cause you headaches when applying for a mortgage.

All you need to do is talk with your Loan Officer and let them know that you have your credit locked and ask how long they need access to it. Unlock it while they process your application and lock it again once they are done.

This is a major advantage over a credit freeze because there are no delays or need for PIN numbers when you’re ready to unlock.

Even if you’re not looking to buy or refinance a home right now, consider locking your credit because it is an effective way to give yourself extra protection so you are less likely to have to deal with identity theft in the future.

Are you ready to begin the journey of getting into a new home?