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Are You Hurting Your Child's Credit? Get the Report

I have been getting a lot of questions lately regarding what to do if you suspect your minor child’s identity is being used to obtain credit. With the credit tightening and job losses we’ve experienced over the last three years, many people have become desperate when trying to turn on utilities or rent somewhere to live and have resorted to using a child’s name and Social Security number to start accounts. This is completely illegal and may even result in a jail sentence for the offender.

If you suspect that your minor child’s information has been used fraudulently, contact law enforcement to report the illegal use of their credit.  Then follow up with the credit reporting agencies and request a copy of the minor child’s report.  You can request a free copy of the child’s report (if there is one), from each one of the three major bureaus. Currently, you cannot request a child’s report online; you have to request it through the mail.

If the child does have a report, the credit reporting agencies will add a fraud alert to the file. The fraud alert will prevent other people from being able to open credit using the child’s identity.

Below is the information you need to include in each request:


· Copy of your government issued ID (driver’s license, military ID, etc.), showing your current address

· Copy of a current utility bill (water, gas, electric, sewer, etc.), showing your current address

Your child

· Full (legal) name

· Copy of their birth certificate

· Copy of their Social Security card

· Date of birth

· Address

Send the requests to:

Equifax                                                                                                 Experian

P.O. Box 740256                                                                                P.O. Box 9554

Atlanta, GA 30374                                                                            Allen, TX 75013


P.O. Box 6790

Fullerton, CA 92834

Protect your child’s credit and check theirs when you check your own. For questions on this process or other credit topics, contact a certified credit counseling today!

Published May 31, 2011.