Today’s fantastic family finance article is:
Did you know your teen has three credit cards, a mortgage, medical debt, a boat, and overdue child support payments?
Neither did your teen. Until you checked his credit report.
A credit report lists your teen’s history of credit accounts and inquiries. Teens have nice clean credit reports that typically won’t be checked for years. That makes teens a favorite target for identity thieves.
Find out if your teen’s identity has been stolen. Sit down together and follow these simple steps:
- Visit https://www.annualcreditreport.com. Don’t be fooled by other sites. This is the only official site directed by Federal law to supply free credit reports to consumers.
- Supply personal identifying information. Fill out form with your teen’s name, birthdate, recent addresses, and social security number.
- Request up to 3 reports. Check the desired boxes next to each of the 3 consumer credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
- Answer challenge questions to access each report. Each of the agencies will present a series of questions about your personal history to verify your identity before presenting the report. Questions might probe about social security number, previous addresses, phone numbers, co-residents, etc.
- Dispute any inaccurate information. Credit reporting agencies are obligated to remove or correct inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information, usually within 30 days. The Experian report I pulled had links right on the online report for initiating a dispute.
You can access each of the reports for free every 12 months. If you stagger individual requests to each of the three agencies, you can check in on your teen’s credit history every four months.
That will keep your teen’s evil credit twin on his toes.
Get tomorrow’s tip here.