The Equifax child credit freeze process is by far the most consumer-friendly of the three credit bureaus.
Equifax is the only bureau that will allow you to freeze your child’s credit whether or not they have an existing credit file. If the other bureaus would follow suit, parents would not have to jump though hoops (like getting your child a credit card) in order to take advantage of the single best defense against financial ID theft.
In order to better assist a parent/legal guardian with questions regarding adding a Legislative Security Freeze to a minor child’s file they can call 1-866-478-0027. Equifax will honor a request to add a Security Freeze upon request for any state, therefore it is not necessary to add the child as an authorized user. We would need proof of the parent/legal guardians address (utility and/or Driver’s License), a copy of the child’s birth certificate and Social Security card. There is no fee to add a freeze for minor children however, it is important to note the security freeze can be added or removed but the ability to lift is not allowed on the minor’s file.
– Equifax Marketing & Communications
But alas, the Equifax procedure for requesting a “security freeze on a protected consumer or minor” also presents a couple of significant security risks.
Like TransUnion, Equifax asks that you mail the required documentation to a P.O. Box. Security experts advise against sending any sensitive information, like your Social Security number, via standard mail. In fact, there are even laws against printing a full Social Security number on mailed documents in some states. While FedEx and UPS do provide more secure mail options, they do not deliver to P.O. Boxes, and Equifax only offers a P.O. Box address.
After I raised these concerns, Equifax provided me with a fax number. While it is not as secure as the “secure upload” option offered by Experian, I applaud Equifax for responding to the security concern. The bureau has not publicly made this fax option available; however, they have agreed to allow me to make it public via this blog.
Like TransUnion, Equifax also asks that you give your Social Security number to an Indian call center rep (without an employee ID) before they transfer you to the proper U.S. department.
See “You Need My Social Security Number But You Won’t Give Me Your Employee ID?” for details on the risk of providing your SSN over the phone and an amusing transcript of my conversation with a credit bureau call center employee.
In response to these concerns, Equifax says it has reminded call center reps that they can use an address or other identifying information instead of a Social Security number.
Equifax Security Freeze
- Protected Consumer Information Web Link:
- Equifax File Freeze Direct Phone Number:
- Equifax Fax#:
- (678) 795-7954
- Equifax Security Freeze Address:
- Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, Georgia 30348
- Equifax Security Freeze
- Required Documents:
- No Fee For Child Credit Freezes
Compile your documents.
- Child Social Security Card
- Parent’s Social Security Card (Or Birth Certificate)
- Parent Driver’s License (Or Other Government Issued ID)
- Evidence of Home Address (Bank Statement / Utility Bill)
- Child’s Birth Certificate
Equifax does not charge a fee for a “Protected Consumer / Minor Freeze”
Fax your documents
I advise calling Equifax before faxing your documents and speaking to someone in the U.S. Security Freeze Department to ensure they are awaiting your fax.
Equifax will allow you to call back 48 hours later to confirm that they have successfully received your information.
Be very careful to dial the fax number correctly. You do not want to accidentally send this sensitive information to an unknown fax.
NOTE: While Equifax does offer a P.O. Box address to mail your documents, security experts strongly advise against sending these sensitive documents via standard mail.
Record your child’s pin numbers in a safe place.
Once your child’s credit file is frozen, Equifax will send you a letter in the mail confirming that the “Security Freeze” has been added to your child’s account. They will provide you with a 10-digit pin number. You will need this number to lift the freeze when your child turns 18.
Equifax does not allow you to temporarily lift or “thaw” a Protected Consumer Security Freeze. You will have to remove it completely when the child is of age and then reapply for a regular security freeze (which is a very simple online process).
It is very important to keep the pin number in a safe place. Losing that number will complicate the process of unfreezing the file when your child is old enough to apply for credit of his or her own.
Consider storing the number in a safe deposit box with other important documents. You can also record the number by sending it to yourself in a discrete email. Do not obviously indicate what the number is for in case your email gets hacked.