I think a family member may be using my minor child's information to obtain credit. How can I determine if any lines have credit have been taken out in her name.
Thank you for your question. Sadly, situations like this can happen and go undetected for quite some time. The good news is there are a few steps you can take to check your child's credit information, clear up any potential issues, and help prevent any further fraudulent activity.
Step One: Check for a credit report. You can contact each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies and ask them to search for a credit file on your child. They will likely require a few different pieces of information to verify you are the child's parent.
Step Two: Take steps to clear any issues. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides a checklist of things to do in the event your child has become a victim. Steps include contacting the credit reporting companies and any businesses where your child's information has been illegally used, and filing an identity theft report.
Step Three: Prevent any further damage. Limit who has access to your child's personal information, place a fraud alert on your child's credit profile, consider placing a security freeze with each of the credit reporting agencies, and consult your local consumer protection agency or state attorney general on any additional rights you may have under state law. USAA also offers credit monitoring services through Experian, and the premium plans include benefits such as ChildSecure®. With ChildSecure®, Experian actively monitors the internet for use of your child's personal information.
To see the full FTC checklist along with information on how to contact the credit reporting agencies, click here.
Hopefully your child's information has not been compromised, but if it has, these steps should help. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.