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The Complete Guide to Unfreezing Your Experian Credit Report Online

Unfreezing your Experian credit report online gives lenders temporary access so you can apply for new credit. It‘s quick, easy and can be done instantly 24/7 through Experian‘s website or automated phone system. Here‘s everything you need to know about unlocking your credit reports online with Experian:

What is a Credit Freeze and Why Unfreeze?

Freezing your credit locks down your credit report and score. Lenders can‘t access it to open fraudulent accounts. But it also blocks access for legitimate applications. Here‘s when you‘ll need to unfreeze:

  • Applying for a mortgage or auto loan
  • Getting a new credit card
  • Adding your name to a spouse‘s credit account
  • Applying for insurance policies
  • Setting up new utility services

Temporarily unfreezing gives lenders access for a specific period of time so you can get approved. According to Experian, over 50 million Americans have frozen credit reports for extra security.

Credit Freezing By the Numbers

50 million Americans with frozen credit reports
59% Increase in freezes since Equifax breach
7 days Max temporary unfreeze time
15 minutes Average time to unfreeze online

Sources: CNBC, Consumer Reports

Unfreezing Options with Experian

Experian gives you instant access to unfreeze credit reports through two convenient options:

Online Through Experian.com

Unfreeze in real-time through your online account dashboard. Takes less than 15 minutes in most cases.

Phone Automated System

Call toll-free and use the automated unfreeze system. Just as fast as online.

Mailing a written request is also an option, but can take 1-3 days to process. Go online or use the phone system if you need instant access.

Step-by-Step Guide to Unfreeze Experian Online

Unfreezing through Experian‘s website takes just minutes and can be done anytime day or night:

  1. Go to www.experian.com and login to your account. If you don‘t have an account, sign up for free.
  2. Click on "Freeze Center" and select the green "Unfreeze My Credit Report" button.
  3. Choose if you want to unfreeze temporarily for a set time period or permanently.
  4. Verify your identity. Experian texts or emails a one-time passcode.
  5. Enter the passcode they provided. Your credit report will now be unfrozen.

The temporary unfreeze lasts for 7 days. You can re-freeze at any time during that window.

What If I Lost My Experian Online Account Password?

Click the "Forgot Username or Password" link on the Experian login page. Answer security questions to reset credentials instantly.

Still stuck? Contact Experian customer support to regain account access before unfreezing credit.

Unfreeze Through Experian‘s Automated Phone System

You can also unfreeze credit reports by calling Experian‘s toll-free automated phone system at 1-888-397-3742. Here‘s how:

  1. Call the toll-free number and select the "Freeze Credit File" option.
  2. Enter your Experian account number or Social Security number when prompted.
  3. Follow system cues to temporary or permanently lift your credit freeze.
  4. The automated system will confirm once your unfreeze is complete.

No need to wait on hold or talk to a live agent. The entire process takes roughly 10-12 minutes by phone.

What If I Lost My Experian PIN Code?

Your PIN is needed for phone unfreezing. Go to www.experian.com/unlock to instantly get your PIN emailed or texted.

What Happens When You Unfreeze Credit with Experian

Here‘s what you can expect after unfreezing online or by phone:

  • Instant access for lenders to view your credit report.
  • Temporary 7 day unfreeze window before it automatically re-freezes.
  • Free to re-freeze and unfreeze as often as you need.
  • No delays. Unfreezing is immediate once ID is verified.
  • No impact to your credit score. Freeze status isn‘t factored in.

Monitor Accounts During Unfreeze Window

Keep close watch on your open credit accounts while unfrozen. Fraudsters look for temporary windows to exploit. enabling real-time alerts is wise.

Unfreeze Only With the Bureau the Lender Uses

Not all lenders check reports from all three bureaus when you apply for credit. Ask who they use to avoid unnecessary unfreezing:

  • Mortgages: Often check all three (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion).
  • Credit Cards: Typically check 1-2 bureaus depending on the issuer.
  • Auto Loans: Varies by lender. Many check just one bureau.

Unfreeze only where the lender looks to minimize your risk exposure. Refreeze as soon as you‘re approved.

Tips for Hassle-Free Experian Unfreezing

Make your next Experian unfreeze seamless and easy with these top tips:

  • Create an online account for instant unfreezing access.
  • Note unfreeze dates to re-freeze as soon as possible.
  • Only unfreeze reports the lender checks to apply.
  • Save Experian PIN in secure place to unfreeze by phone.
  • Use online chat or call for help if you get stuck.

Getting approved for credit doesn‘t have to be painful when you know how to take control of your Experian credit freeze online. Follow this guide for stress-free unfreezing in minutes.