Q. Is there ever a time when I need to check my child’s credit?
A. While most children don’t have credit reports, sometimes they do. These situations can be innocent (your child is authorized to use your credit card) or nefarious (an identity thief has opened an account using your child’s name). Warning signs of the latter include receiving bills, credit card offers or debt collection notices in your child’s name, according to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Parents and legal guardians can request copies of their children’s credit reports through the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Expect to submit copies of documents such as birth certificates and Social Security cards. Parents who think their children are victims of identity theft should contact the major credit bureaus to explain that their children are minors and cannot enter into contracts. Parents can also send each credit bureau a completed copy of the Federal Trade Commission’s Uniform Minor’s Status Declaration Form.
– Patrick Sullivan, director of AAA Northeast’s credit card program
AAA members save on ID monitoring from Experian. Visit AAA.com/IDTheft.