Becoming a parent is a significant life event that opens up new vistas of happiness and sleeplessness. The goal of this four-part article is to provide a general overview and resources to new parents on how to navigate the government, estate planning, and insurance related issues which commonly arise for new parents.

The article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Anyone contemplating taking legal action is urged to obtain proper legal advice from an attorney licensed in your particular jurisdiction.

As part of obtaining a social security number for your child, you should consider protecting your child’s credit and financial future by placing a freeze on your child’s credit. A credit freeze prevents new credit accounts from being opened unless the account holder authorizes the new account.

Personal identifying information such as social security numbers and dates of birth are stolen and sold on the internet every day. There is nothing stopping a fraudster from stealing and then using your child’s social security number and date of birth to open loans, credit cards, and bank accounts and then walk away with the money, ruining your child’s credit before he or she can even walk.

Each of the three major credit reporting agencies offer parents and guardians the ability to freeze their child’s credit. However, each credit reporting agency requires you to mail in one or more original documents, including an original birth certificate and a copy of your child’s social security card. The credit reporting agencies may charge a fee to freeze your child’s credit.

Below is the most current link to the instructions on how to obtain a credit freeze for your minor child for each of the three major credit reporting agencies is below. Double check the addresses with each credit reporting agency before mailing the request for a security freeze.

Experian

https://www.experian.com/freeze/form-minor-freeze.html

Print, complete, and mail the form found in the above hyperlink with the required documentation to the listed address.

Transunion

https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze

Draft a short letter identifying yourself and your child, and state that you are requesting a “protected consumer freeze” on your child’s file. Mail the letter and required documentation to the listed address.

Equifax

https://assets.equifax.com/assets/personal/Minor_Freeze_Request_Form.pdf

Print, complete, and mail the form found in the above hyperlink with the required documentation to the listed address.

Kyle E. Hackett is an attorney in Cincinnati with the Phillips Law Firm, Inc. Kyle helps individuals and small businesses anticipate and solve a variety of legal needs, disputes, and lawsuits. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] or (513) 985-2500.