Check Your Child’s Credit History

If you’re a parent, you probably haven’t given much thought to your kid’s credit history – it’s unlikely that Little Otis was swinging Amex around town. But since children’s files are largely ignored, identity thieves see them as a pleasing target. Experian estimates that 25 percent of children will be affected by fraud or identity theft before they turn 18, and victims are often unaware that they have been exploited until they become young adults and are suddenly rejected from their jobs. , student loans and housing.

One thing you can do now is check if a credit report is open in your child’s name. The new law makes this easier for you and also allows you to freeze files for free. You should do this as soon as possible if you notice any signs of identity theft – for example, your child received a strange invoice in the mail.

Here’s what to do:

  • Go to , scroll down to the Specific Forms of Identity Theft section and click Children’s Identity Theft.
  • Follow the instructions from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Typically, you will need a government issued ID, proof of your address, a copy of your child’s birth certificate, and a copy of your child’s Social Security card.
  • If your child doesn’t have a credit card, great – most young children shouldn’t. If you find it exists, stop it. Here’s how to do it for Experian , TransUnion, and Equifax . Be sure to call the credit bureaus and put a fraud alert or identity theft report on your credit file. When the new law goes into effect on September 21, the three credit bureaus are to launch a web page where consumers will request both fraud alerts and a loan freeze to streamline the process.

Also, know that your kids don’t have to be victims of identity theft so you can block their credit ahead of time . Just keep checking their credit reports annually to make sure nothing has changed.


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