Costa Mesa, Calif. — Experian, a global information solutions provider, announced that it will offer the option to freeze credit reports to consumers nationwide. Beginning Nov. 1, Experian will allow any consumer across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories to place a freeze on their credit report. A credit file freeze prevents new creditors from accessing the credit file without the consumer’s consent.

Experian’s file freeze will be free to victims of identity theft. Unless state law mandates otherwise, there will be a $10 fee to institute, temporarily lift or permanently remove the freeze.

“Experian continually strives to provide consumers with effective tools to prevent and detect credit fraud, as well as to monitor credit information,” said Kerry Williams, group president, Credit Services & Decision Analytics. “Now that a national model for file freezing has emerged, Experian is offering this option to help prevent consumer confusion. Placing a freeze on a credit file is a major decision for a consumer. It will be one option among a broad range of fraud assistance tools we already provide to consumers so that they may make the choice best suited to their situation.”

Experian will continue to offer the placement of fraud security alerts on a credit file for consumers that may be victims of identify theft at no charge.

“A fraud security alert is a better option for many consumers who are concerned about financial fraud. A security alert informs credit grantors that a consumer may have been the victim of identity theft, effectively protecting consumers from credit fraud without taking the drastic step of removing them from the credit marketplace entirely,” said Williams.