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English definition of “credit freeze”

credit freeze

noun [C, usually singular]
 
 
ECONOMICS, FINANCE a situation in which actions by a government force banks to stop lending money: A sign that the credit freeze may be thawing is a drop of .01% in the interest rate that banks charge to borrow from one another.
US (also security freeze) FINANCE a service that allows consumers to prevent credit bureaus (= companies that collect and sell people's financial information) from selling the information in their files. Credit freezes are used for preventing identity theft (= the illegal use of another person's personal information): The new law allows residents to place a credit freeze on their reports. Keep in mind that a credit freeze will not prevent a thief from misusing your existing credit cards and accounts.
(Definition of credit freeze from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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