A Guide To Freeze Your Kids Credit

At some point in the last year I came across some disturbing news: Identity thieves are targeting children to take out debt in their name. Ever since then it has been on my to do list to freeze my kids credit, but in the busyness of life, I never quite found the time to do it. Thankfully this is where Mrs. FrugalStu comes in. She wrote the rest of this piece, but first some scary quotes from the Marketwatch article.

How Serious Is This?

1 million children in the U.S. — or nearly 1.5% of minors — fell prey to some type of identity fraud in 2017, according to a 2018 report by Javelin Strategy & Research, incurring $2.6 billion in total losses and $540 million in families’ out-of-pocket expenses. Two in three child identity fraud victims were younger than eight, Javelin found.

Freeze Your Kids Credit
People are seriously taking out loans in toddlers names

I suspect the number of children affected will continue to rise to well over 2%.

What’s more, the child victim typically won’t find out their identity has been targeted until the first time they apply for a first credit card, job or apartment, said Neal O’Farrell, the executive director of the nonprofit Identity Theft Council. “They could have decades of debt that they didn’t know about,” he told MarketWatch. “It’s plenty of time to commit your crime and disappear before the victim ever knows about it.”


That is what I call a harsh welcome to adult life.

Perpetrators of this exploitation aren’t limited to fraud rings and hackers, Velasquez said. In fact, 60% of child identity-fraud victims actually know the perpetrator personally, compared to just 7% of adult victims, according to Javelin’s report — a method of fraud made easier by the perpetrator’s often “legitimate access to the victim’s personal information.”


Keep a close eye on Uncle Eddy…

Other Considerations

You can check to see if your kid has anything on their credit history through Credit Sesame and Credit Karma (affiliate links, no cost to you).

They would need an email address though, so might not be practical for little kids, but works for a lot of teens. Both are both great, free apps that I’ve used to monitor my credit score. Credit Sesame gives all their users $50,000 in Identity Theft insurance for free. That alone makes it a no brainer to set up an account.

How To Freeze Your Kids Credit In 20 Minutes

After a year of Mr. Frugal Stu saying needed to freeze our children’s credit, we finally did it. By we, I mean I. It took a little over an hour, but it should only take about 20 minutes if you have everything you need. This post is simply to help you make this process as fast and as simple as possible. Here is a checklist of things you need to make it happen:

  • 3 envelops and 3 stamps
  • 3 copies of your child’s or children’s birth certificate (I just made black and white copies with my printer at home)
  • 3 copies of your child’s Social Security Card
  • 3 copies of your Social Security Card
  • 2 copies of your Driver’s License.
    • To make this simple, I took my social, my kids’ socials, and my driver’s license and put all of them into the scanner part of the printer. That way all I had to do was make one scan to get a copy of everything the credit bureaus require.
  • 1 copy of a recent utility bill, or bank or insurance statement
  • 1 hand written letter to TransUnion requesting to place a “protected consumer freeze” on the child’s file.
  • 1 filled out Experion form found here.
  • 1 filled out Equifax form found here.

Get Ready To Lick Some Envelopes

Envelope #1: TransUnion

  • 1 copy of birth certificate
  • 1 sheet of paper with the copy of your social and your child’s social. Transunion doesn’t require your license, so if you want to cut it out you can
  • Your letter requesting the freeze

Seal and address to:
TransUnion Protected Consumer Freeze, 
P.O. Box 380
Woodlyn, PA 19094

Envelop #2: Equifax

  • 1 copy of birth certificate
  • 1 sheet of paper with the copy of your social and your child’s social and your license.
  • Your filled out form

Seal and address to:
Equifax Information Services LLC,
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348

Envelop #3: Experion

  • 1 copy of birth cert
  • 1 sheet of paper with the copy of your social and your child’s social and your license.
  • 1 utility bill (or bank/insurance statement)
  • Filled out Experian form
    • (Their form is awful because at the top it asks for more info than they give you lines to fill, to make sure you write in everything they require, and use the backside if needed)

Seal and address to:
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

And that is that! Because I was doing this for 2 children, my envelopes got pretty thick.

Expect to get a confirmation letter from the 3 agencies in a couple of weeks and file them away somewhere safe.

Protect Your Kids

As a parent, protecting your children is your responsibility. As this type of theft becomes more widespread, you can save yourself and your children’s time and effort from this headache. The Marketwatch article has other useful suggestions towards the bottom.

Also, there is a 4th Credit Reporting agency called Innovis. They are smaller and less likely to be used, we probably need to lock things down there too.

Ready to set your timer? See how long it takes you to freeze your kids credit let me know if you have any other issues.