Freezing a Child's Credit History

People usually considered freezing the credit history because they are worried about identity theft.  Because it is a known fact that even children are not subjected to identity theft and are in fact chosen targets owing to the fact that fraud committed using a child’s identity is more likely to go unnoticed, parents sometimes considered freezing the can credit history for their children.
The main point here is that most of the children do not have a credit history to begin with.  Till there is no credit history you cannot freeze it. Credit histories only created for an individual one that person applies for credit and the credit account is opened in that person’s name.  In case of children this might happen when parents included them as authorised or joint account users on a credit card or when they get a family credit card separately for the children.
The first thing that you need to figure out its whether or not your child has a credit history.  If he doesn’t then there is no way for you to place the security freeze in order to prevent identity theft.
The second thing for you to consider is that even if a child has a credit history whether or not placing a security freeze helps to prevent identity theft.
Normally what happens when you place a security freeze is that you do not even get to know when someone tries to apply for credit with your child’s identity.  In normal cases if a person tries to use a minor’s identity to apply for credit the credit bureau notifies the lender that the information being used is that of a minor.  This can take off the lender as to the potential fraud and he can notify the concerned parties as well as the authorities.  The rest is a security freeze is placed on the credit report the lender will simply be informed that there is a security freeze present and he cannot access to credit report for the purposes of evaluating the credit application.  All he will be able to tell the person who is falsely applying for credit under your child’s identity is that there is a security freeze on the report.  The person trying to commit fraud can then walkout of the lenders of this promising to come back once he has removed the security freeze.

For this reason in case of children who are minors it is not really advisable to put a security freeze on the credit reports, unless they have already been a victim of identity theft.  What you can do instead, if your child has already been a victim of identity theft is to place the fraud alert on the credit report before freezing the credit history.  This will notify the lender to be extra careful and seek confirmation from the parents with adequate identity proof before he approves the credit.

Also you can subscribe to a credit monitoring service from the credit bureaus.  This allows you to monitor the entire family’s credit reports on a frequent basis.  You can check not only your credit report but the credit report of all the other family members as well and as many times as you like.

Getting A Credit Card for Your Children

It is not very common but sometimes parents get secondary credit card for the children as well along with their own.  Many credit card companies make the offer to consumer to get additional credit cards for the members of the family which may also include children.  This is usually done with the intent of providing children and especially teenagers with the means of shopping and buying things for themselves independently.  This results in a credit report being created in your child’s name.  As long as the credit card is used and payments are made on a regular basis positive information is reported to the credit bureaus and your child will develop a positive credit history from an early stage.

Another method of building a credit history for a child is by including them as authorised user on your credit card.  When a child is included as a joint account holder or unauthorised user on a credit card the credit account will get reported on the credit histories of both the parent and child.

Whether your child uses an independent credit card or is an authorised user on your credit card, introducing a child to the workings of credit earlier on in the stage of life can serve as an excellent educational tool.  Along with allowing them to use a credit card of the sake of convenience it is also important to educate them on the proper use of credit.  If your children are old enough and especially if there are teenagers parent should try make them responsible for paying some part of the credit card bill that they raise.  Educating them on responsible management of credit is just as important as building a credit history for them for the future.  Learning credit management and having a credit history when the time comes for them to apply for credit independently will ensure that they have a double advantage.  Credit is a powerful tool only if you know how to use it responsibly. Credit is something that should work for you rather than making you work harder.

Starting your children of early on with the uses of credit can also introduced them to the importance of credit reports and credit score.  Whenever you order your own credit report and score you can also get your children is credit report and have them go over it in order to understand the impact of their spending habits on the credit rating.  You can join a family credit monitoring service where you can not only access your credit reports must the credit history of all your family members any number of times that you want.

If your children have their own credit cards issued make sure that they keep it safely. You must also education on the principles of safe shopping and identity theft.

Protecting Your Child Against Identity Theft

An adult person usually protects his credit from identity theft by placing security alerts on their credit report.  However since most of the children do not have a credit report it is not possible for the credit bureaus to place a security alert.  This does not mean however that there is no system in place that protects your child’s identity.  All the credit bureaus notify the lender in case an application for credit is made in a child’s name who is a minor.  When that happens the lender can stop the transaction until he receives further confirmation from authorised parties such as the parents or the guardians.  Each person has an individual credit report.  A credit report only gets created for a person when they apply for credit.  In the case of children credit report can be created if their parents of legal guardians include them as an authorised user or a joint account holder on a credit card for any other credit account.  If you want to safeguard your child from identity theft you can use credit monitoring services offered by the credit bureaus that enables you to check on not only your credit report but also been notified about any credit that has been applied for under your child’s name.  Even if your child does not have a credit report any application for credit made using his or her personal information will be notified to you immediately thus alerting you to a possible attempt at identity theft and credit fraud.

While it is possible for some information such as name or a Social Security number to be used for an attempted fraud you should only worried if an entire credit report has been created under your child’s identity.

If you suspect that a child’s identity has been stolen to apply for credit you should immediately contact the credit bureaus and request them to furnish you with your child’s credit report. You will need to make this request in writing while providing documentation proof of identity and relationship to the child.

You should watch out for signs like preapproved credit card offers in mail
that are under a child’s name as well as other suspicious credit documents.

You should educate your child about the importance of preserving identification information in public places, on the Internet etc.  When children are targeted for identity theft it is for the reason that they are mire liable to be careless about sensitive information. 
You should educate them so as to not to share personal and private information in online forums, chat rooms and social networking sites.  Caution should also be exercised while purchasing products online in order to avoid phishing and fraudulent websites that attempts to capture personal data such as name and credit card numbers through online forms.  Inform and explain to your child about the dangers of unsolicited scam emails.

Any document that has a personal information about your child should be kept safely.  Documents like passport and Social Security number card should not be carried around, especially not by children.  They should be put away in a safe place.

A Minor Child Can Have a Credit Report

Children by and large do not have a credit report.  A child can also not apply for credit in his or her name such as credit cards.  How is it then possible for a child to have credit report?.  Because the credit report can only be created for a person when the person applies for some form of credit or when a credit account is approved for the child, the one legitimate way for a child and a minor to have a credit report is when their parents signed them as an authorised user or a joint account holder on one of their credit cards or any other credit account.

Many parents include their children as authorised user on the credit cards so as to enable them to go shopping for things they from stores independently.  Although this is something that should only be done after educating the child on proper use of credit and setting the limits of expenditure, it is something that many parents do to make things more convenient for themselves and the child. It is also something that builds a credit history for a child from an early stage which can be very advantageous for the child later on in life.

What also happens sometimes is that teenagers visiting a mall are often approached for retail cards and offers. They may fill out a form using their name along with false birthdates or their parent’s information just for fun and to see what happens next.  This can also result in the creation of a credit report in the minor’s name.

Another unwanted manner in which the credit report can exist in your child’s name is identity theft and credit fraud.

Credit bureaus as a general rule do not allow a credit account to be opened in minor’s name.  The credit bureau will also not knowingly reveal the credit report that belongs to a minor except to a parent or a legal guardian.

Can Child’s Social Security Number Be Used to Commit Credit Fraud

The number one thing that you needed to understand is that every person gets his own credit report at the time when a lender reports that a person has applied for credit.  With the first application and usage of credit persons individual credit report is created.  Every person who uses credit and whose information is reported by the lender is meant to have a separate individual credit report.  Because of this reason most of the minor children do not have a credit report in the name.  If you feel that your child is Social Security number may have been used by someone to fraudulently apply for credit than the first thing that you need to check with the credit bureau is whether that person has also managed to use sufficient other personal information about you tried to create a new credit report under your child’s identification.  If the identity key has only used a Social Security number and has not been able to use any other personal information regarding a child than the likelihood is that your child’s credit report will not get mixed up with the person who has fraudulently used your child is Social Security number.  As long as the credit report remain separate from a child’s your child’s credit rating will not suffer in the future and will not have an adverse impact when the time comes for him or her to apply for a credit in their own name.

In order to ensure that the credit report has not been created fraudulently in your child’s name and identity you should contact the credit bureaus to get a child’s credit report.  You will need to present this request in writing along with documents proving your parental authority or legal guardianship.

The credit bureaus also provide assistance with fraud and identity theft which includes special instructions to request a minus credit report. For example, experience online fraud assistance Centre has instructions to request a minus credit report.  When you visit the website you simply have to click on "minor child instructions" at the top of the page for specific details on how to request the report along with a downloadable form that you can submit.

Visit the website of the three national credit bureaus are speak to a customer care representative on the phone for more information.

Why Is Your Child’s Social Security Number On Your Credit Report

 

It is a rare situation where your son or daughter’s social security number appears on your credit report.  Credit report maintains different variations of information such as any change in the name, previous address etc as well as information of people who are connected to your credit such as joint account or authorized account uses.

It is not possible for any information to find its way on your credit report unless it has been reported by a credit bureau.  This makes the addition of your children’s social security number on your credit report unlikely specially if they are a minor.  However, if you do find that your credit report contains information about the children then it could be only because that information has been reported by some lender to the credit bureau.

The commonest reasons for this to happen :

You may have added your minor daughter or son as an authorized or a joint account used and do not remember.

Your teenage daughter or son may have been at all where the applied for a retail credit card with a bunch of friends using in your name but their own social security number.  This kind of a currency is common enough when children bored with their friends to have some fun in a mall. They apply for a credit card just for the fun and completely neglects to mention it to the parents thinking that it is of no consequence at all.

It extremely unlikely but somehow possible that the social security number of your child and yours are similar.  If that lender in some way transposed the digits were putting it to the credit bureau it is possible that what you think now is your child Social Security number may have found its way on your credit report.

The easiest way to clarify the matter about your child is Social Security number of other information appearing on your credit report is to call up the credit bureau and speak to a customer service representative.  You can get your credit report directly from the credit bureau and speak to a customer service representative who will be able to trace the reporting of the Social Security number or any other information that belongs to child to the lender and the credit accounts that reported it.  You may then requested that particular lender and the credit bureau to remove it from your account.