5 Reasons to Obtain a Credit Report on Your Child

Most parents aren’t aware that they can technically request a credit report on their child. Of course, the procedure is a bit different than for obtaining an adult’s report. Nevertheless, there are various reasons why a parent would do so. Most occasions that would call for such action involve identity theft, which can – in fact – occur against children. There are a couple of other reasons that a parent would want to obtain their child’s credit report. Hopefully, such a report doesn’t exist before the child turns 18. Here are some reasons you would want to obtain a report on your child.

Your child turns 16 years-old.
Most credit analysts and companies recommend that parents obtain their child’s credit report when he or she turns 16 to make sure that nothing is amiss. Obviously, most of these reports don’t even exist, so a parent won’t have to worry about anything. A small percentage of children, however, end up with a credit history mired with mistakes and fraudulent activity, which must then be sorted out by the parents, their child, credit bureaus, and government agencies. With that in mind, you should check your child’s credit once between their 16th and 18th birthdays to ensure that nothing is amiss.

A debt collection agency calls for your child.
No child should be receiving calls from a debt collection agency. Undoubtedly, something is amiss if such calls pop up on your answering machine. Such calls – when legitimate – can indicate that someone is fraudulently using your child’s identity. At that point, you should obtain a credit report to see what’s going on and tackle any issues that arise. Debt collectors will back off if you can prove that the perpetrator isn’t actually your child.

Banks refuse to open accounts for your son or daughter.
In most cases, you should be able to open a bank account for your child within a few minutes. You should be wary if the bank representative states that there is an issue in your child’s file but won’t actually tell you what’s going on. Right away, you have a good indication that something is going on with your child’s Chex Systems profile. Basically, someone in the system with negative remarks can’t get bank accounts, which means that someone might be using your child’s identity.

Your child is denied financial aid when applying for college.
For financial aid, a student will qualify for federal student loans at the very least. Really poor credit can cause a denial for all financial aid though. Your child might still be 17 when he or she applies for aid, so they shouldn’t have anything on their credit history that is disqualifying him or her from receiving financial aid. With that in mind, you will promptly want to obtain a credit report to see if anything is afoul.

Any odd financial documents start showing up in the mail.
If your child doesn’t have any bank accounts or credit cards, then they shouldn’t be receiving any documents for such accounts. Of course, that includes mail-in credit card offers, any type of financial statements, or anything that you don’t think your child should be receiving. Receipt of these items in the mail can point to a case of identity theft against your child. The credit card companies and banks might think your child is – in fact – a 30 year-old person in another state or something like that.

Don’t hesitate to obtain a report, but don’t do it regularly.
You shouldn’t become paranoid about your child’s identity and credit history because he or she more than likely won’t even have a report to obtain. In rare cases, a child’s identity can be stolen and assumed by a criminal though. There are plenty of warning signs when this happens. Therefore, you should always keep in mind some of the various reasons that you should get your child’s credit report before he or she is 18 years-old.

For more information, visit Stop ID thieves from stealing your kid’s credit.