Chase Experian Freeze – Dead or Life Support?

In a number of states nearly all major credit card issuers pull Experian credit reports. This becomes problematic as credit inquiries stack up on Experian, lowering the score and, of course, showing too many inquiries. One method to balance inquiries among the 3 credit bureaus has been to freeze the Experian report.

A card issuer pulling the frozen report returns an application pending message. A call to Chase or Bank of America and they would agree to pull another report. To my knowledge, American Express and Citi always insist on pulling the original report that they attempted to pull. My routine in a single day is to apply, with Experian frozen, for Barlcaycard and US Bank (due to difficulty of approvals and not using Experian in my state), then Bank of America (sometimes Experian for me), then Chase (always Experian), then temporarily lift my freeze to apply for American Express and Citi.

My recent applications included 3 from Chase: Freedom, Sapphire Preferred and United MileagePlus Explorer Business. Yes, I have never had any of those. I made several calls to Chase both on the business and personal side, and each time the agents were insistent on pulling the original report, Experian. This had not happened to me before. Eventually I relented, giving a single-use pin for the first, and then unfreezing Experian entirely because Experian rejected multiple successive requests for a pin and I was going to unfreeze for Amex and Citi anyway.

Readers, is the Chase Experian freeze dead or on life support?

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  • Mr. Cool

    this is some next level shit

  • Mr. Cool

    whats your opinion on using this technique for an “app-o-rama” comprised of chase, barclays, cap1, us bank, BoA please?

  • @Mr. Cool – Could be very useful. This all varies by state, in NJ where I am currently Barclays and US Bank pull both TransUnion so this just makes sure there isn’t an errant Experian pull from them. Cap One often pulls 2 or 3 so this may avoid the 3rd, I have not applied for one in a few years so not tested myself. BoA does pull Experian for me, last June, and the prior December, they both agreed to try Equifax or TU. Chase is the one that looks to be shifting. So go for, start the day with US Bank or Barclays since those are the toughest. If you do have to give the Experian pin to Chase, the Experian systems single-use pin seems to be limited to 2 a day, after that you need to pay to temporarily or permanently lift the freeze, in NJ it is $4.99.

  • Mr. Cool

    @Rapid Travel Chai -VERY useful info. thanks!
    -do you know if EQ &/or TU offer a similar freeze service please?
    -what sort of reason do you provide to the bank if you need to call them in order to complete the app?

  • @Mr Cool – that all have it, and it can be useful for the regular intended purposes. For credit cards, typically the issue is too many use Experian, only a few Experian, and Even less TransUnion. In theory you can freeze 2, leave one and try for Capital One.

    For the reason you could perhaps say that you are concerned about the Target situation, maybe investigating an inaccuracy, etc.

  • Mr. Cool

    very cool. it just so happens that my very first credit account was a target visa!

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  • Harish

    I tried freezing my experian account online. But it asked me to provide identification documents mailed to them.

    I live in Austin Texas. Would like to apply for US Bank club carlson card. Any idea if they pull experian or equifax ?

    My experian has hell lot of inquires 🙂

  • @Harish – US Ban is quite variable, in my case they pulled TransUnion, for some they use alternate credit bureaus, have not seen many reports by state on them.

  • Mr. Cool

    @Rapid Travel Chai
    so i took your advice & froze my experian.
    -i created a PIN during the freeze process.
    -is this the # which i should/could supply to the bank with which im applying if they insist on pulling experian?
    -if yes, how many times can this PIN be used for a temp defrost?
    -if not, is the idea to use the PIN to defrost my experian online while im on the phone with the bank please?

    p.s. hows the water in india?

  • @Mr Cool – that pin you keep indefinitely and use it each time to request a single use PIN for the bank to use. You get the PIN online from the Experian Security Center. You can only have one single use PIN at a time and when I have tried to get 3 in one day the third said I had to apply by mail for it, so instead I paid the fee to temporarily lift the freeze. Only give a bank a single use PIN.

    India did well stomach-wise.

  • Mr. Cool

    gotcha. is this where the single us PIN can be requested?
    “Request a PIN for Use by a Creditor” ?

    ..glad to hear that india played nice

  • @Mr. Cool – yes, that is correct.

  • Mr. Cool

    completed a round of apps with the freeze. amex requested freeze thaw to process app. had to provide PIN

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  • Gene

    -paid $5 experian unfreeze free
    -amex app seemed to go through, but…….. & other experian report services cant pull my experian! says error. impossible to get a hold of anyone at experian. TU & EQ reports pull without problem.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Gene – yikes, haven’t heard of that. I guess you could try freezing and unfreezing again. I can’t think of anything else at the moment.

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