Credit Monitoring for Minors

image of children

Why would you want to check your child’s credit?

While it might seem strange to check your child’s credit report, that is exactly what you should do, well before your child turns eighteen. Fraudsters count on the fact that parents don’t request their children’s credit files. They’ve been known to “create” a consumer by blending a child’s Social Security number with a different name, address and birthdate. This practice is called synthetic identity theft. Because parents have little reason to check whether a credit record exists for their child, the crime can go undetected for years. Some indicators may be:

  • A letter in the mail stating there was a breach in hospital, insurance or banking information.
  • Credit card junk mail in your child’s name.
  • Family member or friend asking questions about a child’s SSN.

Generally, minors under the age of 18 do not have credit reports. If your child has a credit report, it may be a sign that their personal information has been used for fraud or identity theft purposes. If your child has been the victim of fraud, it won’t impact them right away because they aren’t applying for credit. However, it takes time to straighten things out and clear their record, so checking early will help. You don’t want their first application for a credit card, student loan or car loan declined due to a poor credit history report that they had nothing to do with.

Another step to help protect your child’s credit is to put a security freeze on it. This will prevent scammers from using your child’s Social Security number fraudulently. You’ll need to contact each credit bureau to request the freeze, but first make sure you get a copy of their report to make sure it’s clear.

How do I get a copy of my child’s credit reports?

If over the age of 13, you can check directly (for FREE) at to see if a credit report exists. For a child under the age of 13, you should go directly to Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian’s websites to find out what information you need to mail to them.

TransUnion  has an online portal which parents or guardians can use to fill out and submit a Child Identity Theft Inquiry  form. When you submit this form, you will find out whether there is a credit report in your child’s name. If there is, TransUnion will contact you for additional information. If you want a copy of the credit report, TransUnion might require you to separately request a copy of the report by mail.

Visit the Equifax website for details on requesting a credit report. This video also provides helpful information: Freezing Your Child’s Credit Report FAQ | Equifax

Experian requires parents or guardians to complete the Child Identity Theft Protection form and mail it in with other identifying information.


-Article by Kelly Howell, Member Relationship Officer at Public Service Credit Union