News You Can Use

Jesse Jones’ Push for Free Credit Freezes Reaches State Senate


Jesse Jones’ push to make credit freezes free for all made its way to the state Senate Tuesday.

Senate Bill 6018 was heard by the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee.  It would make credit freezes free to everyone in the state.  It currently costs $10 to freeze and unfreeze credit files with each of the three national credit agencies; Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.  The bill comes down to a simple argument: Is credit monitoring better than a credit freeze?

Cliff Webster represents the Consumer Data Industry Association, which represents the three credit agencies.  He said a free fraud alert is best.

“Credit freezes may not always be the way for consumers to protect themselves against fraud,” Webster said.  “You indicate that you want the merchant to be notified if the merchant makes an inquiry about your credit worthiness, {and} that the merchant should take extra precautions to ensure that they are dealing with you and not someone faking to be you,” Webster continued.

But not everyone agrees with Webster.

Robert Eubanks from Okanogan said he paid for credit monitoring for over a decade.  But scammers were still able to attack credit card accounts, and he did not receive any notification.

“I even had three cards that were replaced via the card service companies, and then they were breached again… the same three cards,” Eubanks said.

Eubanks also added that someone opened a cellphone account in his name without his permission.  A trip to the store confirmed it all.

“{The employee} actually did a few things in her system and found the number the number that was actually authorized and obtained,” Eubanks explained.  “So we called it.  I called the individual.  Of course, after a couple four letter words, he hung up on me.”

Committee member Senator Bob Hasegawa from Seattle asked Webster to defend the $10 credit freeze fee.

“It’s not a profit center,” Webster explained.  “It provides revenue but it’s not a profit center for the companies.”

Eubanks said something needs to change.

“With that being said, who do you trust?” Eubanks asked.  “You’re out there, basically vulnerable. So something needs to be put in place.  Freezing your credit report, I believe, is the solution.”

The journey has just begun. If you want the legislators to do something about this, or not, call your legislatures.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter