What should I do if there is an error on a minor child’s credit report or evidence of identity theft?
You may contact both the credit reporting company and the company that provided the information. You should explain what you think is wrong, why, and include copies of documents that support your dispute.
Credit reports are not established at a certain age. Children may have a credit report because they are listed as authorized users or joint account holders on an adult’s account, or any time a credit account is reported by a lender for that individual. Or your child may have a report because he or she is a victim of identity theft.
If you believe your child or a child in your care is a victim of identity theft, you should contact each of the credit bureaus listed below to explain that your child is a minor, and can’t legally enter into any type of contract.
To prove that your child is a minor, send the credit bureaus a completed copy of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Uniform Minor’s Status Declaration Form with a letter requesting that they remove all accounts, account inquiries, and collection notices from the credit file associated with your child’s name or personal information.
Online: Child Identity Theft Inquiry Form
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
You can also request that the credit bureau place a 90-day or 7-year fraud alert in the youth’s file. This requires creditors to verify an identity before granting credit and makes it harder for a thief to open fraudulent new accounts. You only need to contact one of the three bureaus to place an alert.
You can also request a credit freeze, which stops creditors from getting the youth’s credit report until you lift the freeze. Freezes are generally free for victims of identity theft, but others may be charged a fee. Check the Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion websites to see how much you will be charged, which will depend on what state you are in. To place a freeze, you must contact each of the nationwide credit reporting companies individually.
It may also be worthwhile to contact each business that reported a fraudulent charge on the report and request that they close the fraudulent account and flag it to show it resulted from child identity theft. You may also want to request that they send you a letter stating that the fraudulent charge has been removed.