Should Seniors Have Their Credit Locked Down?

In one of our recent training meetings, I received a great tip: Seniors (any maybe their kids) should contact all three credit reporting agencies and request that their ‘credit’ be ‘locked down.’

This of course would mean that they could no longer get a credit card or buy something on credit. But does a senior really need more credit? And if they do, the credit can be ‘unlocked’ so that they can buy a new car or whatever they wish.

Seems that there is no cost for doing this and it would prevent the possibility of a stranger (or, as we have seen recently, a ‘friend’ or relative) putting an application in front of the senior and having them apply for a new credit card, etc.
This actually happened with one of our clients recently. An out-of-town niece showed up, and got the Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Uncle to sign one of those credit offers that come in the mail….and a few weeks later, the credit card showed up and was promptly maxed out by the niece….who then left town and claims it was all ‘on the Uncles orders.’
It is a sad but true story. Locking down their credit cards would prevent that from happening.
Here are the contact numbers for the credit card monitoring companies:

  •  Experian: Customer service: 1 (888) 397-3742
  •  Equifax: 1 (888) 548-7878
  •  Transunion: 1 (800) 916-8800

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by David Cole, The Senior Veterans Council. Reach him at 919-825-1300, or visit