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So if everyone coughed up the ten bucks or so to put a credit freeze in place with Equifax only.....would that mean that creditors would have to go to the other two large bureaus to get the info they would need to make approval/disapproval decisions???? Thus, putting a major hurt to Equifax??
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No. If a creditor requires Equifax then you would need to unlock your credit for that transaction. There is a fee for unlocking and relocking your credit report.

For security, your credit should be locked at all 3 CRAs.
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blacktreechaser,

You wrote, So if everyone coughed up the ten bucks or so to put a credit freeze in place with Equifax only.....would that mean that creditors would have to go to the other two large bureaus to get the info they would need to make approval/disapproval decisions???? Thus, putting a major hurt to Equifax??

Last quarter Equifax has revenue of $832.2M. If they were able to collect a $10 fee from every person impacted, they would receive an additional $1,430M in revenue this quarter. This would almost triple their revenue in a single quarter.

Of course the NY AG has also pressured them into providing anyone a free credit freeze. But that offer is only good for 30 days. It also doesn't apply to an unfreeze or freezes/unfreezes in future months.

I suspect if everyone freezes their credit, Equifax is likely to see an enormous spike in revenue. What's more, the increase will persist for years.

The key unknowns are:

1. How many of their corporate customers will abandon them as a result of this fiasco?
2. How much will the litigation cost them?
3. How many people will actually respond by freezing their credit?

Equifax has certainly receive a large reputation scare from this fiasco - as if anyone respected them anyway - and the litigation costs are likely to be significant. But I hate to admit it: I'm guessing that there is a non-trivial chance that this will eventually become a net positive for Equifax... And that's assuming they don't actually do anything else to fix their problems or their reputation.

- Joel
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I'm guessing that there is a non-trivial chance that this will eventually become a net positive for Equifax... And that's assuming they don't actually do anything else to fix their problems or their reputation.

I agree. The key thing is, the credit and/or identity theft monitoring that Equifax is giving away is one of its lines of business. Why does that matter?

Personal anecdote: A few years ago, there was a data breach at Anthem, the health insurance carrier I used through work. As is customary, they gave affected consumers 2 years of free credit monitoring. I took that two free years. But what happens after 2 years? Anthem is off the hook, and my data is potentially out there sleeping in some file available to crooks. I'm pretty stable. I've had the same address for a quarter century. So I like, kind of need credit monitoring for the rest of my life.

And it turns out the firm that Anthem used was willing to offer me the same service for $8.50 per month. I took it, because for 2 years I got a monthly report that there was nothing suspicious, and when I applied for credit the service picked that right up and alerted me. $8.50 per month is 15% less than the commonly advertised price for LifeLock, and the biggest advertised discount I've seen for Lifelock is 15%. I wasn't willing to do a lot of work to find something cheaper that *might* work as well.

So, coming back to Equifax . . . they give 2 years of this credit monitoring/identity monitoring service to everyone who wants to take it. At the end of those 2 years, some percentage of those people will start paying for it. And that's more revenue to Equifax.

Me? I'm sticking with what I'm already paying for. It isn't worth my trouble to double-layer the monitoring. And I bet that the web site Equifax set up simply tells everyone that their data might be compromised, not just the 260 thousand or so consumers whose data was identified as breached.

Patzer
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And I bet that the web site Equifax set up simply tells everyone that their data might be compromised, not just the 260 thousand or so consumers whose data was identified as breached.

Patzer


The website indicated my husband's data was compromised but mine was not. I checked before learning that the website has security issues.
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Here's my comment over on FFE.

http://boards.fool.com/freezing-credit-32830619.aspx

The govt should pass legislation requiring thr credit score agencies to automatically, as the default, freeze one's credit.

When an individual wants a new credit account, unfreeze it for that request, using 2 or 3 form factor verification.

:-)
Ralph
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