As parents, we protect our children from danger. So, have you thought about protecting your child’s credit and good name?
One family in Miami discovered that a thief stole their tax returns and obtained the names and social security numbers of three of their children. Credit cards were opened in their names, merchandise purchased, but never paid for. It took six months of work for them to sort everything out — and they live in fear that it will happen again, but the social security numbers are out there.
By the time your child is 18 and wants to get a student loan or begin establishing credit is not the time to discover that his/her credit has already been trashed.
A minor does not have a credit file and that’s the way it should remain. A fraudster should not be using his/her social security number to open credit.
More than 1,000,000 children were victims of ID theft last year, according to an article in USA Today, 9/21/2018. Sadly, the majority of the criminals were members of their own family who had easy access to their personal information.
Prevention is Better than Cure
You can freeze your child’s credit at no cost. A freeze prevents any credit from being opened in your child’s name until after the freeze is removed (which takes about three days).
Minors who are 16 or 17 must request their own credit freezes, and they can do so by mailing in a copy of their driver’s license or other photo ID.
For children under 16, parents or guardians must mail in their requests. You can find instructions on the websites of the credit bureaus:
In addition, take steps to see that your child’s personal information is locked away securely so that a visitor to your home cannot obtain it.
Yes, it takes some effort to freeze credit, but working your way out of a credit nightmare is a thousand times worse.
Please pass on this information to other parents so they can also protect their children’s credit and good name.