Your credit score and your credit report are two separate things. The credit bureaus Experian, TransUnion and Equifax maintain credit reports, which contain information about your credit-related activities, while credit scoring companies such as FICO® and VantageScore® use the information in your credit reports to calculate your credit scores with each bureau.
When you freeze your credit report, you block lenders from being able to access your credit information as a result of an application. However, your current lenders will continue to report and update the account information in your report, so a freeze will have no impact on your credit scores. A security freeze also doesn't stop you from using the credit accounts you currently have, and you must continue to make loan and credit card payments.
If you want to apply for new credit, you will need to "thaw" your credit reports in advance so lenders can view your credit reports to make a decision. If you know you will be applying for credit, you can request to thaw your credit report temporarily. You can also request a one-time-use PIN that you can provide to a specific lender to give them one-time access to your report.
Keep in mind that lenders are not the only ones who may access your credit report when making decisions. For example, some insurance companies, such as homeowners and auto insurance companies, may use your credit information to calculate a credit-based insurance score to determine your premiums. Companies requesting your credit report for the purpose of insurance underwriting may still be able to see your credit information even with a credit freeze in place.
Generally speaking, however, if you are thinking of applying for credit in the near future, it may be better to consider a fraud alert or security alert in lieu of freezing your credit.
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