Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you’ve probably seen the news that a crap-ton of people’s personal information was exposed through a breach at Equifax, one of the three credit bureaus.
You can check whether you were compromised here: https://trustedidpremier.com/eligibility/eligibility.html
It turns out that I was compromised. No big deal. Why? Because I’ve frozen my credit, as should every American. It takes 5-10 minutes to do and immunizes you from threats like this.
After freezing your credit, you can unfreeze your credit each time you apply for subsequent credit. In my case, this may potentially be never (I suppose with the exception of occasional credit card bonus chasing).
I loathe our collective addiction to credit, which enables people to consume today at the expense of their own future consumption. After accounting for interest, the forgone consumption exceeds the gain current consumption, creating a net loss for the individual most of the time.
* After reading some Bogleheads forums, you should probably also freeze the following (thanks Scott):