Freeze your credit? It's one way to cut out the con artist

Benefits of credit freeze
Benefits of credit freeze

Many Americans these days are understandably worried about the prospect of identity theft in which a scammer opens up a credit card or other loan in the victim's name, runs up all kinds of charges and then disappears. The victim is left with the huge headache of trying to clear his or her good name with lenders and credit bureaus alike. This scary prospect may have you considering a credit freeze, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind before you take this step.

When your credit is frozen, you can't take out a loan, apply for a credit card, refinance your house or open a new financial account of any kind. Plus, you may have trouble landing a job if a prospective employer checks your credit history, which many do. The advantage is that nobody else can do any of these things, either; a thief can't say she's really you and open a credit card behind your back.