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Does the name "credit freeze" sound a little threatening? Don't worry. It's not about your bank or other lender freezing your access to credit, even though it might sound that way. It's a step you can take to protect your credit record. When you freeze your credit, you're doing what you need to do to prevent criminals — or anyone else — from accessing your credit. Here's everything you need to know about a credit freeze.

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1. A Credit Freeze Keeps Others from Accessing Your Credit Report

When you freeze your credit, you're restricting access to your credit record. Once you freeze your credit, identity thieves have a very difficult time stealing your identity and opening new accounts in your name. Your creditors also have no access to your credit report when it's frozen, so they're unlikely to extend new credit when the thief files those fraudulent applications.

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