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Freeze ARS and IDA credit reports the easy way!




When we started playing the miles-and-points game, our goals were simple: four tickets to Europe, and a few domestic trips on Southwest. Citi, Chase, and later Barclays and AMEX, took excellent care of us. In fact, none of US Bank’s offerings really interested me until I decided to try for the LAN Airlines card when it had a larger-than-normal bonus. At that time I had 18 new accounts opened within a year and, predictably, I got denied. USBank is well known to be picky. A while later, Bonnie tried to open a US Bank card. Less applications, and the phone rep made it sound like she would be approved when she was instructed to call in and verify her identity, but we got the same result. No love from US Bank.

Of course I knew better – I had seen posts on freezing some oddball credit reports called ARS and IDA, including the directions in posts at Travel Codex and the Free-quent Flyer. Since then I’d seen other posts that also spell it out, but they talk about certified mail and stuff I didn’t have time was too lazy for. There was spending to be manufactured! Office Max was leaving money laying around, and I had to take the boys and help them clean it up! I finally woke up, though, to the fact that requests can be faxed in. Last Friday, I faxed in two letters:

                                                                              <My fax number>

SageStream, LLC Consumer Office
P. O. Box 503793
San Diego, CA  92150
FAX (858) 312-6275

To Whom It May Concern

I’m writing to you to request a security freeze on my credit report. Under the Fair Credit Report Act you are required to comply. My information is as follows:

  • Full Name <Me>
  • Current Address <My house>
  • Phone Number (123) 456-7890
  • Social Security # ***-**-****
  • Date Of Birth <A long time ago>

I’ve included the following two documents that verify my identity:

  • Copy of driver’s license.
  • Copy of passport.

After this credit freeze has been completed, please send written confirmation to the address listed above.

Kind regards,

<Me>

_________________________________

February 27, 2015

A second similar one went to ARS at

Advanced Resolution Services, Inc.
5005 Rockside Road, Suite 600
Independence, OH 44131
FAX (216) 615-7642

You can download full sample letters here for IDA/Sagestream and here for ARS.  Click ‘file’, then ‘make a copy’, and edit all of the red text. Print and sign it, and fax in along with copies of your documentation. You can use any two of: Drivers License, Passport, Social Security card(may not be accepted by ARS per comment below), Birth certificate, Alien registration card. The addresses and fax numbers are correct as of March 2015, and can be confirmed by calling Sagestream at (888) 395-0277 and ARS at (800) 392-8911. (EDIT: unfortunately, in some states you may have to mail in one or both requests. Voyaging Doc had to mail one in PA – see comment below.)

Today (Thursday, less than a week later) I received the IDA response confirming my report has been frozen. The ARS letter came yesterday. No stamps, no running around or Certified Mail, and I’m all set to try again with US Bank in April. This will be the first time in a couple of years that I’ve actually waited months between credit card applications and done a planned App-O-Rama, but it seems worthwhile if it’s the only way to get in on the Club Carlson buy-one-get-one-free award nights!

– Kenny

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • chasingthepoints March 4, 2015, 7:28 pm

    Thanks Kenny! I’m going to try this out this method

  • William Charles March 4, 2015, 7:37 pm

    Great work, Kenny. Much easier method than worrying about certified mail.

  • Robert March 5, 2015, 10:41 am

    I may want to do it as well. Club Carlson ‘regular’ card just post $45 annual fee and US Bank can only remove it within 30 days, meaning I’d need to close it once approved for a business version 🙂

  • JGM March 6, 2015, 11:20 pm

    Thanks for the great tip! I’ll use HelloFax to do this. Few questions though… How long are the reports frozen? Is it a temporary thing lasting a month, or a year, or some other time frame? Any other cards that this is useful for other than US Bank?

    Thanks!

    • Kenny March 7, 2015, 8:19 pm

      I have heard of these reports causing insurance rate hikes, but I can’t confirm that. Anyway I’d say no one else needs those reports! Freezes are in effect until you unfreeze it.

  • Dan @ PointsWithACrew March 7, 2015, 7:38 am

    Yup – that’s how we did it as well! One problem we had was that faxing driver’s license info gets a little dicey depending on the quality of your machine, sometimes it can be hard to read on the receiving end

  • MilesJunkie March 7, 2015, 8:14 pm

    That’s exactly how we froze them too – faxed. It took maybe 4 or 5 days and we got the package from them detailing the freeze and PIN code to unfreeze. Much much easier (and cheaper!)

  • Narayan March 8, 2015, 9:30 pm

    FWIW, I did not freeze any reports. It got approved just fine. I did not have any applications in the prior 3 months but around 6 in the prior 3 months.

  • Tom Goldberg March 9, 2015, 11:23 pm

    Last year I tried to freeze ARS and supplied my social security card + passport as proof of identity, they came back to me requesting tax form showing SSN and said social security card was no longer accepted as proof of SSN.

    • Kenny March 9, 2015, 11:24 pm

      Thanks for sharing, I’ll update that! Drivers license and passport worked perfectly for me.

  • Ian March 12, 2015, 6:42 pm

    Doesn’t it concern you to be giving these two organizations more personal information, such as DL number and your physical description? I mean after all, their business is compiling information on you.

    • Kenny March 12, 2015, 6:56 pm

      They’re compiling anyway, and this is the only way to prevent others from accessing that info.

      • Ian March 12, 2015, 7:27 pm

        I suppose. I’m going to have to do it, I know. But I don’t like it one bit. Why can’t they accept correct answers to challenge questions like the big three do?

  • Voyaging Doc March 16, 2015, 6:58 pm

    for those of you attempting to contact sage stream / IDA regarding security freeze requests I had attempted to fax in my freeze however they specifically cite that for Pennsylvania residents they must send in the request via certified mail. the applicable law regarding security freezes in Pennsylvania was passed under Senate bill 180. I read the document and it states that requests can be done via certified mail or electronically. I believe it is sage streams own requirement that it be certified mail for Pennsylvania residents. I was able to fax through my request to ARS without issue in the other hand.

    • Robert March 17, 2015, 9:02 am

      Will freezing with just one of those 2 offices do anything/help in order to apply for US Bank card???

      • Kenny March 17, 2015, 9:16 am

        It would if you knew which one they are going to pull, but they may be pulling both. If you are planning a US Bank app I’d go ahead and freeze both.

  • physixfan March 19, 2015, 1:22 am

    Great! Thanks a lot for this convenient way!

    • Robert March 19, 2015, 8:10 am

      Did anyone try to apply to business and personal version of this card at the same time?v

  • Gene June 30, 2015, 12:11 am

    @kenny
    any idea if innovis affects credit approvals please?
    any disadvantage to freezing innovis?
    thanks!

    • Kenny July 11, 2015, 3:11 pm

      I’m not aware of any effect of Innovis reports (frozen or otherwise) but I’m all for freezing everything but Experian, Equifax and Transunion.

  • Sam September 13, 2016, 1:22 pm

    Is it safe to use one of those online free fax services to send sensitive information like my ssn?

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