How long does it take to unfreeze your credit?

Answered by Willie Powers

Unfreezing your credit can generally be done quite quickly, depending on the method you choose to make the request. If you opt to unfreeze your credit online or by phone, the credit bureaus are typically able to lift the freeze in near real time. However, if you choose to request the unfreeze by mail, it may take a bit longer.

When you request an online or phone unfreeze, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) allows the credit bureaus up to one hour to complete the process. This means that once you make the request, your credit should be unfrozen within a relatively short period of time. This quick turnaround time is especially beneficial if you need immediate access to your credit for things like applying for a loan or opening a new credit card.

On the other hand, if you decide to unfreeze your credit by mail, the FTC requires the credit bureaus to grant your request within three days after they receive it. While this may take a bit longer compared to online or phone requests, it is still a reasonable timeframe considering the processing and mailing involved.

It’s worth noting that each credit bureau may have slightly different processing times for unfreezing credit. However, in general, the one-hour timeframe for online or phone requests and the three-day timeframe for mail requests are industry standards set by the FTC.

In my personal experience, I have found that unfreezing credit online or by phone is the most convenient and quickest option. I have unfrozen my credit multiple times in the past, and each time, the process was completed within a matter of minutes. This allowed me to have immediate access to my credit when needed.

To sum up, if you need to unfreeze your credit, it is typically a fast process. Online or phone requests can be completed in near real time, usually within an hour. Mail requests may take a bit longer, with the credit bureaus required to grant the unfreeze within three days after receipt. Regardless of the method you choose, unfreezing your credit allows you to regain access to your credit information promptly.