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Free Credit Freezes Coming for All U.S. Consumers - ABI

Consumers are on track to get one thing from Congress in response to last year’s massive Equifax Inc. hack: free freezes of their data held by the credit-reporting companies, the Wall Street Journal reported. The bipartisan agreement, set to be approved in the Senate by next week as part of a broader banking bill, would require credit-reporting companies to let consumers block access to their credit reports to potential lenders without paying a fee. Freezing access to credit data is a crucial measure consumers can take if they want to protect themselves from identity theft. Credit-reporting firms are mixed about the measure, which would erode a source of revenue, while consumer advocates worry it doesn’t go far enough to give people more control over their data. The provision would set a single national standard for credit freezes. Currently, 42 states allow credit-reporting firms to charge for the service unless an individual was a victim of identity theft. Eight states and the District of Columbia mandate waiver of the fees under all circumstances.

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