FREEZING CREDIT REPORTS FOR CHILDREN
Child identity theft has grown as a problem in recent years. According to Javelin Strategy and Research, a million American children became victims of identity theft last year at a cost of 2.6 billion dollars in total losses to the families.
OVER 3 MILLION CHILDREN
ARE VICTIMS OF IDENTITY THEFT EACH YEAR
Children have become a prime target of identity thieves who, if they are able to get identifying information on a child, such as the child's Social Security number, can open a credit report on behalf of the child and obtain credit in the child's name.
The identity thief never pays back the money accessed through the child's credit and the child is burdened with a bad credit report that can have a harmful effect on the child when he or she applies for credit, applies for a job, applies for a scholarship or seeks to rent an apartment.
OFTEN THE IDENTITY THEFT IS NOT DISCOVERED
UNTIL THE CHILD TURNS 18 AND IS APPLYING FOR A LOAN
Since September 21, 2018 federal law has provided the ability of parents to freeze credit reports on behalf of their children at no charge.
What follows are the forms and instructions for freezing your children's credit reports. Unlike freezing your own credit reports, children's credit reports must be done through the mail. Remember it is important to freeze your child's credit report at all three major credit reporting agencies. Once you have frozen your children's credit, be sure to keep the PIN and information on how to unfreeze your credit reports in a safe place.
In order to freeze your child’s credit report at TransUnion you must provide:
A written request to place a “protected consumer freeze” on the named individual’s file
AND One piece of documentation that provides ‘sufficient proof of authority’ that you have authority to act on behalf of the minor or dependent such as:
an order issued by a court of law
a lawfully executed and valid power of attorney
a document issued by a Federal, State, or local government agency in the United States showing proof of parentage, including a birth certificate
with respect to a protected consumer who has been placed in a foster care setting, a written communication from a county welfare department or its agent or designee, or a county probation department or its agent or designee, certifying that the protected consumer is in a foster care setting under its jurisdiction.
AND information or documentation that provides ‘sufficient proof of identification’ that you are who you really are, and information or documentation that the minor/dependent is who they really are, such as:
a social security number or a copy of a social security card issued by the Social Security Administration
a certified or official copy of a birth certificate issued by the entity authorized to issue the birth certificate
a copy of a driver’s license, an identification card issued by the motor vehicle administration, or any other government issued identification
The assembled material then must be sent to:
P.O. Box 380
Woodlyn, PA 19094
In order to freeze your child’s credit report at Experian you must provide the following information for both you and your child:
Social Security number
Complete addresses for the past two years
Date of birth
In addition, include for your identification:
One copy of a government issued identification card, such as a driver's license, state ID card, etc.
One copy of a utility bill, bank or insurance statement, etc.
You will also need to provide a copy of your child's birth certificate and a copy of their social security card. If you are the child's guardian, please provide a copy of the court document naming you as the guardian or other appropriate court appointed documents.
Here is a link to a form letter to request a credit freeze for your minor child at Experian.
The request can be mailed to Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013, or sent by overnight mail to Experian, 701 Experian Parkway, Allen, TX 75013.
Once Experian receives the information, the security freeze will be added to the minor's credit file within 3 business days.
In order to freeze your child’s credit report at Equifax you must you should fill out a Minor Freeze Request form. Here is a link to the form: https://assets.equifax.com/assets/personal/Minor_Freeze_Request_Form.pdf
You will need to prove your identity by submitting a copy of your driver’s license or a copy of your Social Security card or a copy of your birth certificate.
You will need to prove your authority as parent of your minor child by submitting a copy or your child’s birth certificate.
Once you have assembled these documents, you must send them with the Minor Freeze Request Form by mail to Equifax Information Services, LLC, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348.
For even more complete protection please visit:
www.IDENTRON.com for family protection plan options.