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)?
- Is it a good idea for parents freeze their child's credit?
- Should parents pull their child's credit report each year?
- To monitor for synthetic identity theft, you could order an earnings report from the SSA to see if any unexpected income is associated with your child's SSN. How often should this be done?
- Are there other ways a child's credit/identity should be monitored?
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.