How to check your child’s credit report: Step-by-step instructions
Statistics enthusiast focused on data-driven content
Identity theft of children is often hard to detect until they turn 18. By then, however, their credit may be ruined. Here are the steps you should take when contacting the top three credit bureaus if you suspect your child is a victim of identity theft:
Minors 14 and older or their parents may request a credit report through Experian's website, by calling 800-311-4769, or through AnnualCreditReport.com. (If you suspect fraud, however, Experian says it's best to work directly with the company from the outset.)
If you're checking on a younger child, or can't get through the AnnualCreditReport.com online authentication process for an older child, you may write to Experian:
1. Go to Experian's fraud center page and click on "minor child instructions" under "Information You Should Know." Experian will provide the credit record if there is one on file and inform you if your child has no credit record on file.
2. In addition to the form provided on the website, you will need to send Experian:
- A copy of your driver's license or another government issued identification card, such as a state ID card.
- Proof of your address, such as a copy of a bank statement, utility bill or insurance statement.
- A copy of your child's birth certificate.
- A copy of your child's Social Security card.
- Your child's full name, including middle initial and generation, such as Jr., Sr., II, III.
- Your child's date of birth.
- Previous addresses from the past two years.
3. Mail the documents and form to:
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
1. To obtain a copy of your child's credit report (or to see if one even exists) from Equifax, send the following to the company:
- A copy of the child's birth certificate.
- A copy of the child's Social Security card or a document from the Social Security Administration that shows the child's Social Security number.
- A copy of the parent's driver's license or state issued ID, showing proof of current address.
- If you are not the parent of the minor, a copy of the document giving you legal authority to act on behalf of the minor child.
2. Mail documents to:
Information Services LLC - Minor Child
P.O. Box 105139
Atlanta, GA 30348-5139
Once the documents are received and processed, Equifax will notify you and remove the child’s file if one exists.
1. TransUnion has an online form for asking the company to check whether your child may be an identity theft victim.
2. You also may email TransUnion at email@example.com. The company cautions not to email sensitive, identifying or account information.
If TransUnion finds a file in your child's name, the company will then ask you for additional information to protect your child from the damage of any fraudulent activity.
For more information on children and credit reports, see "How to check your child's credit report."
- 5 less-obvious ways to damage your credit score – Missing a credit card payment is a surefire way to mess up your credit score. Here are five less-obvious ways ...
- My credit score’s 750! Why was I denied a card? – Five reasons why you may be denied a credit card, even if your credit score is excellent ...
- Q&A with author Emma Johnson on protecting credit as a single parent – As a single mom going through a big life change, it's critical to stay on top of your credit because that's when you're going to need it most ...