As a parent, you may do everything possible to set your child up for success in the future. From carefully considering which school they will attend to helping them with homework and extracurriculars, these can all help your little one in the long run. However, when they become an adult and apply for their first credit card, student loan, or apartment, you may be shocked to discover that they have a poor credit score due to accounts on their credit report they never opened. The following blog explores how your child could have debt and what steps you can take to prevent and remedy this from occurring with the assistance of a California identity theft lawyer.
How Does My Child Have Debt?
In some instances, if there are accounts on your minor child’s credit report, it may be because of a credit mixup. This is especially common in families where parents share the same first and last name as their child. Additionally, the person responsible for entering the information into the database may have mixed up the social security number of the lender and your child.
However, this could also be due to identity theft. Children are vulnerable to identity theft because they are viewed as “blank slates.” They have no credit and few parents check their child’s credit report because they have no reason to, meaning thieves can get away with their actions for years before someone notices.
What Can I Do if There Is Debt on My Child’s Report?
If you’re worried about someone using your child’s identity, you may be able to check their credit report with each of the three major reporting bureaus. In the event there is credit on the report, you can submit a form to have it removed. The Federal Trade Commission offers a minor’s status declaration form. This allows you to provide proof that the individual listed on the credit report is a minor, and therefore cannot enter contracts with lending agencies.
In addition to this form, you must provide a number of documents proving the individual is a child and that you are their parent or guardian.
Once you submit this form, you can request to have all accounts and inquiries removed from their credit report. Additionally, you can place a credit freeze on their account, which requires all potential lenders to reach out to the individual before opening an account.
Unfortunately, this process can be incredibly complex. Not only does it require many forms, but it can also be overwhelming to contact the different agencies. As such, it’s in your best interest to enlist the assistance of an attorney experienced with identity theft cases. At Loker Law, we believe your child deserves the same chance to build their credit. That’s why we’re committed to helping you through these complicated legal issues. Contact our firm today to learn how we can assist you.