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Can I freeze my child’s credit report?

Can I freeze my child’s credit report?

(Identity Theft) Permanent link

With all the attention on child identity theft, it’s understandable that parents might want to freeze access to the kids’ credit files to thwart any harm. But can they?

I posed the question to a representative from TransUnion, after being contacted by KING 5 for their report, “Protecting your kids’ financial future.”

The answer: You can, in fact, freeze a child’s file – if a file exists. But it shouldn’t.

If a credit report exists for child, it’s only because of fraud. In that case, the parent or legal guardian can freeze the child’s credit file. The individual will have to provide proof that they are the parent or legal guardian and that fraud has occurred.

However, credit bureaus don't have the ability to create a file for a child because a parent wants to place a preventative freeze. Files are created based on information reported by creditors – eg: employers, credit card companies, mortgage providers and other lenders. So if you’ve never had a job or applied for a credit card or loan, and no one has managed to ambush your Social Security number, you won’t have a credit report.

On a related note, you can freeze your credit whenever you want to in Washington. You can also freeze the files of a vulnerable adult, provided you have legal authority to make decisions for the individual. Learn to recognize the signs of elder financial abuse.

Posted by AGO Blog Moderator at 12/17/2008 05:51:20 PM | 

This is one of the dumbest things I have ever encountered. You can not be proactive in protecting your children, you have to wait until someone steals thier identity before you can pay each credit bureau to stop gathering and prviding the information about your children that created the fraud in the first place. Genius! I assume the three reporting agencies have some computers which could contain a database of ssn's which have been frozen by parents preventing a credit file from being created. It would seem that the only form of credit cotraception is the morning after pill.
Posted by: Greg Hoffman ( Email ) at 1/26/2009 7:52 PM

My purse was stolen and both of my kid's and my ss card was in it. I'd forgotten to remove them after needing them for business purposes. Of course Ids taken all of the proper measurments to prevent identity theft for myself, but when I tried to do the same for my kids, I was hit with a brick wall. This is not fair. My kids shouln'dt have to pay for my negligence or someone's elses deviance. The only thing that I can do is get a yearly credit report from all three bereaus and God forbid, wait for any cospicuous activity on the accounts. This system is butt backwards.
Posted by: vic ( Email ) at 7/22/2009 4:03 AM

This is absurb..why wait for the fraud to happen first? I work for financial institution and I've seen this will take months to clean up the mess, the time you spend to prove it's fraud is ridiculous...besides minor will not be able to get a loan until they reach 18yrs old anyway so why can't we prevent the damage? I don't mind paying a minimal fee..better than spending my time cleaning up the mess the thief created!
Posted by: Irene ( Email ) at 11/2/2009 9:28 PM

Who would we contact to get something done about this loophole. There must be someone in government, or child advocate, that would take this seriously and help us protect our children's credit. Please name names and email addresses. [AGO BLOG MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: Start with your Congressional representatives. You can find them at and]
Posted by: Dianne Graffeo ( Email ) at 5/24/2010 10:13 AM

you can create a file for them, easily, then freeze it. open a savings account. or joint checking acct. this gives them the credit file, and you the ability to freeze the acct. before any issues arise. if you want to financially plan for your children, putting money away and securing it is the best way!
Posted by: heather ( Email ) at 6/23/2010 2:16 PM

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