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What is the Difference Between Credit Freeze & Credit Lock?

Published on Sept 15, 2022Updated on Aug 24, 2023

What is the Difference Between Credit Freeze & Credit Lock?

The world is evolving, technology is developing, and digitalization is booming. A person’s life is not the same anymore as it was 50 years back. People have become more outgoing; a digital revolution has taken place. All these factors are good for a person’s growth, as well as the economy’s growth.

But it is impossible to escape the fact that every coin has 2 sides. The other side of this scenario is that The rising issues of personal data being stolen, misuse of confidential information, identity theft, etc. have led to new frauds taking place virtually everywhere. Scammers can easily use your data to make purchases on credit or open loans in your name, which will leave you with considerable debts. Credit lock and credit freeze are two main security measures that prevent fraudsters from hijacking credit reports.

What is a Credit Report and Its Importance?

A credit report is a statement that indicates a person’s credit history that includes their transactions, credit score, loans taken up, and more. The information is highly confidential and thus shall not be leaked or stolen. Such information is affected in case of identity theft, fraud, or similar situations. The lives are affected by the common man and to safeguard the same, concepts like credit freeze and credit lock have been introduced. Let us dive into these topics and gain an understanding of each of them.

A. Credit Freeze:

A credit freeze is a situation in which the credit bureau refuses to share a customer’s credit report with anyone other than the customer. A credit freeze is also known as a security freeze or frozen credit. The information is blocked and only reported to the customer. It is a fraud prevention strategy. Many customers use the credit freeze option in scenarios where they believe that their credentials have been stolen or misused. Freezing their credit reports protects them from having their credit information leaked to criminals who may make new purchases or create accounts using their credentials. Also, no financial companies can get access to a customer’s data until the credit freeze is removed. It is safe to say that a credit freeze does not cause any harm or impact your CIBIL score.

B. Credit Lock:

The credit lock strategy helps in preventing lenders from viewing your credit reports. A card’s identification number also known as the PIN is generated in this process. Only with access to this PIN on the mobile app or secured website, one can lock and unlock their credit report. The service of credit lock needs to be purchased and thus is chargeable.

Must Read: How to Read CIBIL Report?

As we have understood the concepts, let us dive into the difference between a credit freeze and a credit lock.

Credit Freeze V/S Credit Lock:


 Credit Freeze  Credit Lock


A credit freeze is a system under which the credit bureau freezes your credit report, thereby not allowing an outsider to view the same. These are governed by credit legislations.

A credit lock is a preventive measure in which you apply a credit lock to your credit report. It is done to prevent lenders from viewing your credit report. The same are controlled by credit bureaus.


A person accesses the credit freeze system when they feel that their credentials have been stolen or their confidential information has been leaked.

A credit lock is a system applied in advance to avoid any future fraud or threatening situation.

Fees applicable

A credit freeze is free.

A credit lock is considered to be a premium service and thus is chargeable.


Once the credit bureau has received a credit freeze request, the same will be applied within 24 hours. In case you wish to unfreeze the same, a PIN is required.

Immediate activation and deactivation can happen through a smartphone app or website


The application process in case of a credit freeze is complex.

In a credit lock system, the application process is easy.

Impact on Credit Score

Activation or deactivation of a credit freeze or lock on your credit report does not cause an impact on your credit/ CIBIL score. For example, if a person wishes to take up a personal loan in India under your credit profile, going through the entire process is not possible. It is because many access points are not available to the scammer.


Having a security layer applied to all your details helps you to save on confidential information and identity theft. Being aware of your finances is the first step to financial independence and security. We encourage you to keep track of your credit information and take suitable actions to keep your critical information secured and safe.

* Please note that this article is for your knowledge only. Loans are disbursed at the sole discretion of SMFG India Credit. Final approval, loan terms, disbursal process, foreclosure charges and foreclosure process will be subject to SMFG India Credit's policy at the time of loan application. If you wish to know more about our products and services, please contact us

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