If you’re not familiar with the consumer report agency ChexSystems, consider yourself lucky. The 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 try to open a new bank account, banks can use this report to 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 problems for you down the road.
ChexSystems Security Freeze
If this happens, you’ll want to utilize something called a ChexSystems security freeze. When you freeze your report, you effectively prohibit the agency from releasing any information without your consent.
This prevents anyone from opening a new account or line of credit in your name. However, the freeze does not apply to lenders 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.
Personal Identification Number (PIN)
Once you place a security freeze on your file, you will receive a unique personal identification number (PIN) by mail. You will need the PIN to perform specific actions with regard to your security freeze, such as applying a temporary lift, 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.
Removing 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 ChexSystem’s 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.