How Freezing Your Credit Impacts Background Investigations

Originally published at:

With all of the scams, identity theft and other nefarious activity going on these days more and more people are opting to freeze their credit to prevent unauthorized access or fraud. This is a conundrum for security clearance applicants or current holders when undergoing a background investigation because it will cause delays in completion of…

1 Like

Hmmm…thanks for the advice- I had my investigation (T5 for a BI job) begin almost 2 months ago…met with my investigator…no mention of needing my credit unfrozen to be checked.
My email got hacked and an attempted fraudulent charge ensued right before my e-quip. My data was also breached on Equifax, so they allowed a freeze for free, but I need to send TransUnion and Experian a copy of my police report to avoid the $10 charge, and I haven’t done it yet.
Any idea of which of the 3 bureaus they check? Or all three? I have ‘excellent’ credit rating on all 3, so it wouldn’t matter which they checked…

Also-do they do a ‘hard’ check or a ‘soft’ check? I monitor Credit Karma, and I have had no hard checks at all this year- soft checks don’t register.

They do a soft check. I know for a fact OPM checks Experian. They did not check my TransUnion, though I did not check my Equifax. It’s also not the credit score they care about. It’s more about delinquent debts, etc.

ok, thanks. Credit Karma doesn’t show soft checks…but I have zero credit issues.

All three credit reporting agencies are checked by NBIB.

This post addresses the original question: T3-Credit report

New legislation will make this a non-issue as it will allow credit bureau to release to NBIB credit reports even if they are frozen by the consumer.

An update to this topic: The NBIB released FIN 19-01 which states the NBIB is now able to obtain credit reports for background investigations even if they are in a frozen status.

My FSO told me to unfreeze mine. Not sure if there was any veracity to it. I would’ve preferred not to after all the breaches but didn’t want to risk any hold ups in my PR process.

This is a fairly new change - you probably submitted your SCA before the change was released.