Children Need Credit and Identity Monitoring
SCOTTSDALE, AZ ( May 14, 2010) - If you've ever been the target of identity theft, you've probably spent many hours of your time undoing the aftermath of the invasion. Most experts recommend that every American consumer pull their credit report at least once a year to make sure no one has used your ID to open new credit. This recommendation extends to children, as children's identities are often used to obtain credit, says Kristy Welsh, editor of CreditInfocenter.com.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), over 500,000 children a year (or approximately 5% of all identity theft cases) in America involve children. Want another alarming statistic? Welsh says slightly over half of child ID theft cases reported by the FTC involve children under the age of six.
ID thieves have an easy time obtaining credit for a number of reasons. The biggest one - credit reporting agencies (CRAs) cannot tell if a Social Security Number belongs to a minor, as they do not share information with the Social Security Administration. The age of a consumer becomes "official" with the first credit application. There is no way to prove the applicant is a minor until a dispute is filed and proven.
For those who don't have the time or energy to keep track of information on your credit reports, a credit monitoring service or an identity theft protection service may be the way to go. When any information changes on your credit report, the consumer will be notified via email. Many of these services will allow you to add your children to these services for little or no cost.
CreditInfoCenter.com is a free one-stop destination for consumers looking for advice and tips on how to repair and rebuild bad credit and maintain good credit. Kristy Welsh is also the author of Good Credit Is Sexy, a tongue-in-cheek guide to managing your credit. Welsh is an advocate of showing readers everything they need to know to repair credit themselves, as many positive corrections can be made for the cost of a postage stamp.