Arizona State Senate
September 15, 2008
Arizona Senate Research Staff, 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007 • 1-800-352-8404 • 602-926-3171
REPORT SECURITY FREEZE
A consumer credit report is the record of an individual’s credit
history, including credit card accounts, revolving credit accounts,
borrowing and payment history, credit inquiries and credit limits.
Additional information typically contained in the report consists of
past and present residences of the consumer, whether the consumer
has been sued or arrested and any bankruptcy filings by the
consumer. Companies that gather and sell this information are
called consumer reporting agencies; the three main agencies are
Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.
A security freeze, also known as a credit freeze, allows an
individual to control access to and dissemination of the
individual’s credit report by restricting the release of information
without the consumer’s express authorization. A credit freeze
stops access to the credit report, blocking lenders and credit card
issuers from viewing that information, effectively preventing new
accounts from being opened. Because new accounts cannot be
created, placing a credit freeze on a consumer report may prevent
financial identity theft.
Equifax, Experian and TransUnion currently allow consumers
to freeze their credit reports for a fee. Thirty-nine states have
enacted laws further regulating consumer reporting agencies when
a consumer requests a security freeze.
Currently, the three main consumer reporting agencies have
voluntarily established procedures that allow consumers to freeze
their reports. However, the fees and guidelines differ from
company to company, and prior to 2008 Arizona did not mandate
that the option of a freeze be available to a consumer, nor did it
regulate the fees or procedures for requesting a freeze.
In 2008, Arizona enacted legislation to establish procedures
and requirements for a c