What is the difference between a fraud alert and a credit lock?
A fraud alert is independent from locking your Equifax credit report, and both are distinct from one another. During the time an Equifax credit report is locked, Equifax cannot deliver your Equifax Credit Report to any lender or other businesses for the purposes of establishing or further extending credit in your name. Since an Equifax credit report must be unlocked to apply for or increase limits on loans, credit cards, mortgages, 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), a fraud warning would provide an additional layer of protection during that period. There are certain instances where, even if your Equifax credit report is locked, Equifax may still deliver your Equifax credit report to a financial institution or a business, for example, when a background check for the purposes of employment is conducted, or when you apply to rent a home. In this case, if your Equifax credit report contains a fraud alert, it will appear on your Equifax credit report when it is delivered, also providing a layer of protection