A credit freeze controls whether a lender can perform a credit check on you or not. It blocks “hard inquiries” completely, which immediately damage your credit score. Freezing your credit prevents both you and a potential identity thief from opening new accounts in your name.
Closed and protected.
When your credit is frozen, you are “closed” from opening new accounts, and more protected from identity theft.
A valid third party may still access a frozen report for collection activities, review of existing accounts, child support collection, and court orders.
Unfreezing is free and only takes a few minutes to do manually. Unfreezing opens your credit report to be accessible to lenders who have a permissible purpose to access it. We recommend you re-freeze your credit immediately after getting approved for your new account.
Open, but Vulnerable
When your credit is unfrozen, you are “open” to apply for new accounts, and much less protected from identity theft.