How does a credit lock prevent new credit accounts from being opened in my name?

When you lock your Equifax credit report, Equifax will not deliver it to any lenders or other businesses for the purposes of establishing new or additional credit obligations in your name. You will need to unlock your credit report to apply for new loans, increased credit limits, and other credit-related uses like contracts for a long term lease of goods (e.g. car lease) or sequential services performed at a distance (e.g. cell phone contract).

Equifax can only communicate a locked status when a lender or other business requests access to your credit report after you have locked it, and only when required by law to deliver the locked status (see above “What is a credit lock” for more information). Lenders and other businesses may make credit decisions about you without requesting information from Equifax (e.g. requesting it from TransUnion — the other nationwide credit reporting agency — or relying on previously obtained information before your Equifax credit report was locked).