A credit freeze involves making your entire credit history inaccessible to all merchants for a period of time. This is often done if you suspect that an individual or criminal organization has gained access to your personal data and could fraudulently apply for new lines of credit under your name.  To place one, you will need to contact the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) and request one. By placing a credt freeze, you can prevent a third party from obtaining new lines of credit under your name or checking your credit score.

A credit freeze is free if your application is accompanied by a police report, but subject to a small fee without such a report. Such a freeze will not impact your credit report, but  all applications for credit, whether in the form of a car loan, mortgage or a new credit card, will likely be declined while the freeze is in effect.