It's important to monitor your own credit for signs of identity theft and for errors, because recovery can be time consuming and expensive. What steps should parents take to monitor their minor children's credit, and to prevent identity theft (or at least catch it early)?

This article suggests that parents should consider freezing a child's credit, but warns that it doesn't protect against every type of theft and might have some drawbacks:

If you do this when a child is an infant, you’ll need to keep track of the personal identification numbers required to unfreeze that child’s credit for nearly two decades. That could mean through moves, deaths or divorce.

And freezing credit protects against only one type of misuse. If your child’s Social Security number or other personally identifying information is out there, it can be used to obtain government benefits or get medical care, Velasquez says.

2 Answers 2


I'll take a stab at answering my own question since there haven't been other useful answers or suggestions.

I did some additional research but it was hard to find detailed information (let alone best practices) about freezing minors' credit reports.

What I Decided to Do

Ultimately, my spouse and I opted not to freeze our kids' credit reports. Minors' credit reports can't be frozen online, so we would have to send a lot of sensitive documents together through regular postal mail to each credit bureau (such as the child's birth certificate and SSN, and a copy of our own driver's license/identification card). Instead we decided to take the following steps:

  1. Monitor the kids' credit reports three times a year (same schedule as our own credit reports).
  2. Order earnings statements for them once a year to monitor for synthetic identity theft (theft of a kid's social security number but not the rest of their identity).
  3. Teach the kids about identity theft and using credit wisely, and show them how to monitor their own credit when they are old enough.

Ideally you should have waited for SSN until your kid does first job or whenever she/he needs. If its already opened and worrying about identity best thing is to freeze the credit through all 3 credit bureaus.

  • 3
    An SSN is required to claim tax credits, For that reason, it's not realistic to suggest waiting to apply as an identity theft protection measure. You might benefit from a reread of the question and add more detail about why you think credit freezes are a good idea. Jun 6, 2019 at 19:10

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