As more information becomes available about the Equifax data breach, many consumers have questions relating to how it affects them — and their credit — personally.
The Atlanta-based credit reporting agency recently announced that as many as 143 million people were exposed when hackers exploited a website application to access protected files earlier this year. Equifax, one of three main cogs in the U.S. lending industry, waited six weeks to tell the public, leading to outrage and calls for class-action lawsuits.
Money expert Clark Howard says the No. 1 way to protect yourself from identity fraud is by freezing your credit.
One of the main questions consumers are curious about is what happens if they freeze their credit. Can you still use your credit cards?
The short answer is yes. Your credit may be frozen, but your ability to make credit card charges will remain unchanged. All of your credit accounts will stay active and you can use your credit cards as usual. The difference is that crooks will not be able to open new credit card accounts in your name.
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If you have specific questions about the Equifax breach and how it may impact you, contact Clark’s Consumer Action Center — a FREE help line open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. EST with volunteers available to answer YOUR concerns! Call Team Clark @ 404-892-8227.
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