If you’re not familiar with the consumer report agency ChexSystems, consider yourself lucky. The consumer reporting agency tracks information on your banking habits, like overdrafts, bounced checks, suspected cases of fraud, and more.
This information is included in your ChexSystems report. When you attempt to open a new bank account, banks and credit unions can use this report to view your banking history and either approve or deny your request.
The problem is, identity thieves can steal your information, open a new bank account in your name, and misuse that account. This can cause all kinds of financial issues for you down the road.
What is a ChexSystems Security Freeze?
If you suspect that someone is trying to open an account in your name, you should place a freeze on your ChexSystems report. When you freeze your report, you effectively prohibit the agency from releasing any information without your consent.
This prevents anyone from opening a new bank account or line of credit in your name. However, the freeze does not apply to banks or credit unions who want to check your report for a preapproved offer.
One thing to be aware of is that implementing a security freeze may delay or prevent financial institutions from accessing your ChexSystems report that you wish to do business with. The bank or credit union will receive a message indicating that you have blocked access to your information.
When you submit a security freeze request to ChexSystems, it will only be applied to your ChexSystems consumer report. It will not affect any of your other consumer credit reports. If you wish to restrict access to major credit bureaus or other consumer reporting agencies, you must contact them directly.
Pros and Cons of Placing a Freeze on Your ChexSystems Report
The pros and cons of placing a freeze on your ChexSystems report are as follows:
- Protection against identity theft: A freeze on your ChexSystems report will prevent anyone from accessing your report without your permission. This can protect you from identity theft or fraud.
- Peace of mind: Knowing that your report is frozen can give you peace of mind that your creditworthiness is protected.
- Limited access to new accounts: If your ChexSystems report is frozen, financial institutions will not be able to access it when you apply for new banking products. This can make it more difficult for you to open new checking or savings accounts.
- Time consuming: It can be time-consuming to place or lift a freeze on your report, as you will need to contact the consumer reporting agency directly.
- Limited protection: A ChexSystems security freeze can protect you from certain types of identity theft, but it will not protect you from all types of fraud or financial scams.
Personal Identification Number (PIN)
Once you place a security freeze on your consumer file, you will receive a unique personal identification number (PIN) by mail. You will need the PIN to perform specific actions regarding your security freeze.
This includes applying a temporary lift, and removing or changing personal identifying information (for example, address, Social Security number, etc.). If you lose the PIN, you’ll need to request a new one in writing.
How much does it cost to freeze my ChexSystems report?
Consumers may freeze and unfreeze their credit report with ChexSystems at no cost. This means that anyone can take advantage of this service, without the need to pay any additional fees.
How to Remove the Security Freeze
If you wish to remove the ChexSystems security freeze, you can do so at any time. You can request to remove it temporarily or permanently at ChexSystems’ website.
Other ChexSystems Resources
If you would like to learn how to get out of ChexSystems, click here.
If you would like to see a list of banks that don’t use ChexSystems, visit this page.
For a list of credit unions that don’t use ChexSystems, visit this page.
3 Banks That Don’t Use ChexSystems
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- Monthly service fee can be waived
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Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.
1. Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply with Chime except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.
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