How to Freeze a Child's Credit

By Anne Hart

Many parents may not realize the risks of their child's information being stolen. They think, "Little Sophia is only 8, nobody is going to use her information....she can't even drive!" Think again. Little Sophia may be fine now, clearly she's not applying for a Visa at 8 but what happens when she turns 18, goes to apply for that Visa....and is then turned down? What happened?

Credit Freeze-2

Well, when Sophia was 8 and playing her favorite game online, her "so called" friend had her click a link for free tokens. That link was spyware and it found some personal information of Sophia's on the family computer. Fast forward 10 years, the person who stole this information kept it for 10 years until our darling girl turned 18! And now....well now the world is his oyster because he's got a brand new untarnished line of credit in poor Sophia's name.

Cyber criminals don't even have to wait until your child is of age. They can start now by manipulating the personal information they stole. Here are some tell tale signs that your child's information has been compromised:

  • Your child begins to receive suspicious mail, like pre-approved credit cards and other financial offers normally sent to adults, in his or her own name.
  • You try to open a financial account for him or her but find one already exists, or the application is denied because of a poor credit history.
  • A credit file already exists in his or her name. If the child has one, he or she may have been targeted already, since only an application for credit, a credit account, or a public record starts the compilation of a consumer credit file.
So, what can we do to prevent this? We can freeze our children's credit.

How to Freeze Your Child's Credit?

It may take a bit of time to gather a few documents and fill out some things, but freezing your child's credit is easy overall and you'll be grateful in the long run!

There are a few different credit bureaus that we need to consider and each has a different requirement for freezing a child's credit. Guess what? Freezing your credit is FREE

Here’s what each bureau asks you to submit...

EQUIFAX
Request Form

Your child must be under 16 in order for you to freeze their credit. Once they are 16, they can request this themselves.

You’ll need to provide copies of documentation that verify your identity; the minor dependent’s identity; and your relationship to the minor dependent.
To prove your identity, please provide copies of one (1) of the following pieces of identification:
  • A copy of your driver’s license or other government-issued identification
  • A copy of your Social Security card
  • A copy of your birth certificate
To prove you are the child’s parent or authorized representative, please provide copies of one (1) of the following pieces of documentation:
  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate
  • A copy of a court order
  • A copy of a lawfully executed and valid power of attorney
  • A copy of a foster care certification
To validate the child’s identity, please provide copies of both of the following:
  • A copy of the child’s Social Security card
  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate
Once documents are received, the freeze of credit takes 3 business days! Send all required information to:

Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348

EXPERIAN
Request Form

To prove your identity, please provide copies of one (1) of the following pieces of identification:
  • One copy of your 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.
  • One copy of the child's birth certificate
  • One copy of the child's Social Security card
  • If you are the child's legal guardian, a copy of the court document naming you as the guardian or other appropriate court appointed document
  • Request Form (provide addresses of residence for the past two years)
Your child must be under 15 in order for you to freeze their credit. Once they are 16, they can request this themselves.
Once documents are received, the freeze of credit takes up to 5 business days! Send all required documentation to:
 
Experian
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
 
TRANSUNION
This must be a written request and mailed along with the required documentation.

Your child must be under 16 in order for you to freeze their credit. Once they are 16, they can request this themselves.
 
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
Send all documentation and written request to:

TransUnion
P.O. Box 380
Woodlyn, PA 19094

Take Action Today for a Safer Tomorrow!

 

© 2020 Wizer Inc. All rights reserved.