Your child’s credit: it deserves to be protected!
Having a baby is wonderful news, but it can also be a scary thing. Not only are you fully responsible for your child’s well-being, but it’s also your responsibility as a parent to make sure your child is protected in every way possible – this includes protecting your child’s credit. Identity thieves often target children because the child’s credit is not impaired (or non-existent).
Although you might think that the government is protecting children from these types of theft, it is not.
Only at the state level
The only federal law created to protect a child’s credit identity is the “Protecting Children from Identity Theft Act” (created in 2015), which is not a law at all. In fact, there is less than a 2% chance of this law being passed according to various sources. The law would allow parents to create a credit report for a child and then freeze it to prevent identity theft. However, the bill has not been signed by the president and does not appear to have even reached his desk.
This has led various states to create similar laws at the state level, although not all states allow parents to create a credit report and freeze it. This is an important point. Recent media coverage of credit report freezes often leads people to believe that all states allow parents to create a credit report and then freeze it, but this is not true. Some states do not allow the creation and freezing of a credit report at all.
States that allow legal freezing
There are only a few states that allow parents to create a credit report for a minor and then freeze it. The states are Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin . Other states only allow a parent to go through this process if the child is under the age of 16 (this is often not helpful because identity theft happens to children much younger than 16).
Help from credit bureaus
Some credit bureaus have taken matters into their own hands. Equifax, for example, will allow parents of minors (regardless of state they live in) to create and freeze a credit report. Trans Union allows parents to check if credit fraud has occurred and also allows parents to create and freeze a credit report if they live in the aforementioned states. Some credit bureaus in states that don’t have any laws dealing with minor credit identity theft allow parents to create and freeze credit reports for a small fee—however, if the parent can prove fraud, that fee can be waived.
#childs #credit #deserves #protected