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Do I need to run a credit report on my children?

Most children don't own credit cards and it would be exceedingly rare to find one with a loan in his or her name. However, that doesn't mean that your child's name and Social Security number are free of debt. Indeed, Arizona parents should regularly check their children's credit reports to ensure that they have not become the victims of child identity theft.

The problem with child identity theft is that most parents do not even suspect it could happen to their children and it can go undetected for years. In fact, this kind of identity theft usually does not get revealed until a child has been rejected after applying for a valuable student loan to pay for college or gets rejected while trying to get a credit card. Because this kind of identity theft can be under the radar like this, it is very important for parents to double-check their children's credit reports from time to time to ensure they are clean.

According to the president and chief executive officer of The Identity Theft Resource Center, a company that works as a non-profit to help victims of identity theft, the only thing identity thieves require to get a fraudulent credit card is the Social Security number of a child. Thieves often use a different birthday and name to open the account. In fact, thieves often prefer child credit card fraud because it tends to go unnoticed for a long time.

Arizona residents who suspect that their children have been the victims of identity theft -- and whose children have unwanted credit card debt attached to their Social Security numbers -- may want to receive legal advice from an attorney experienced in handling credit card debt matters.

Source: Wane, "Why you need to check if your child has a credit report," April 06, 2016

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