You might expect that your teen has pristine credit—or none at all. After all, she has never applied for a credit card and has not taken out any loans. How could she even have a credit report, much less have one with negative information on it? Unfortunately, your child may have been the victim of an identity thief and have a credit report with a low credit score in her name. It’s important to find this out before she turns 18.
Children Under 18 Should Not Have a Credit Report
Minors under the age of 18 should not have a credit report unless you have made them an authorized user of your credit card or co-signed for a credit card in their name. However, if an identity thief got ahold of your child’s Social Security Number and took out loans in her name, she will have credit reports—and they will not be pretty! Because a bad credit report can seriously impact your child’s future, it’s important that you check with each of the three credit reporting agencies to see if there is a report in her name. You will need to contact each agency and provide your identification, proof of your address, a copy of your child’s birth certificate, and your child’s Social Security Number.
How a Bad Credit Report Could Affect Your Teen
You want to send your teen off into the world on the right foot, and making sure they have an accurate credit report is a good start. It takes time to correct mistakes caused by identity theft, so it’s never too soon to look for reports in your child’s name and take steps to correct them. Not doing so could affect their ability to:
- Qualify for student loans
- Rent their first apartment
- Get utilities such as water, electric, and gas services in their name
- Buy or lease a car
- Take out a credit card
- Get a job
It’s hard enough for young people to do these things nowadays, so giving them a head start by making sure their credit reports are correct is the gift that will keep on giving.
Contact Cardoza Law Corporation If You Are Having any Problems
Sorting out the problems caused by identity theft can be a nightmare. Before you bury yourself in the details of this process, give us a call or fill out our contact form to tell us what’s going on. We may be able to help you out—at no cost to you—and, if your teen’s rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act have been violated, we may also be able to sue the credit reporting agency for damages. Contact us to learn more!