Both credit locks and credit freezes restrict access to your credit reports, but there are some differences between them.
A credit freeze is a free service mandated by federal law that restricts access to your credit report until you unfreeze it.
This is a smart option if you’re a victim of identity theft or believe your information has been compromised.
A credit lock, on the other hand, is a product offered voluntarily by credit bureaus, which may charge a fee for it.
Locks are not governed by federal law and companies don’t guarantee error-free operation or uninterrupted service.
One key difference between the two is that it’s simpler to unlock a credit lock than it is to “thaw” a credit freeze.
However, a credit freeze may afford legal protections that a credit lock doesn't give you to protect yourself.
In security benefits, the limitations on access to your credit are the same for both credit locks and credit freezes.
Like a credit freeze, a credit lock doesn't hurt your credit. It restricts access to your credit files so no ID theft occurs.