KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Now that the three major credit bureaus are offering free credit freezes it's causing a little confusion.
Thomas Oesterle, who said he's been a victim of credit fraud, was happy to get the news. Oesterle said once he logged on to freeze his credit, "Experian wants a charge and Transunion wants to charge. It's like, what the heck? Why are they still requiring a fee? They'll give it to you free for 30 days and then they want $19.99 a month."
A spokesperson for Experian sent 41 Action News this statement:
"The individual was most likely trying to get a freeze in the wrong place and possibly was signing up for paid products. Even when there was a charge for credit freezes, they didn't cost that much. Also, there is a difference between a freeze and a lock. If the consumer was trying to get a lock, that is part of an Experian paid product. An Experian CreditLock was designed to work within our paid products. It provides the same function as a freeze, but can be switched on and off via our mobile app. Again, this is a feature in our paid products."
It can get tricky. In a search of all three credit bureau websites, Equifax and Experian show the free credit freeze on the bottom of the home page. Transunion requires consumers to search for the correct page to take advantage of the product. While a credit freeze is free, a credit lock is not.
No matter what, Oesterle thinks things should change because, "I don't see any reason why there should be a difference. As far as I'm concerned, whether you lock it or freeze it, there shouldn't be a cost. At least not in this day and age."