Experts say you should freeze your children’s credit. here’s how

Retired dentist Anu Minocha from Saratoga has three children: a 19-year-old at UCLA and a pair of 17-year-old twins in high school. Minocha says she was not brought up in a financially savvy or transparent manner. It was therefore important for her and her husband to raise their children to be comfortable discussing money.

“Where are they going to learn this if you don’t show it to them?” Minocha asked. Since the kids have been in middle school, the family has gotten together every week to review everything. Said Minocha, “So [her teenagers] know our income. They know how much electricity, water, everything that costs, mortgage, insurance costs. The holidays, which they appreciate so much: they know how much they cost! “

The 19-year-old has a Discover card. The twins have bank accounts. Minocha is aware that ransomeware attacks have increased over the past year, but said she was not alarmed. “What are you doing? I mean, this is the world we live in, right? So you can’t hide under a blanket. I think you have to teach kids to handle this world. “she said.

For Minocha, that means being on high alert to react quickly to hacks – but she says she wasn’t thinking about freezing their credit before speaking with KQED.

How to freeze your child’s credit online

Freezing a child’s credit can be time consuming and requires completing the process with the three main credit monitoring services: Experiential, Equifax and TransUnion.

“There is another layer of complexity,” Velasquez said. “You must not only have their basic identity documents available and ready, you must also demonstrate that you have the legal authority to act on behalf of this child.”

You must also send your request by post. Below is an example from Equifax of what you need. However, each agency has slightly different requirements:

To prove your identity, please provide copies of one of the following pieces of identification:

  • A copy of your driver’s license or other government issued ID
  • A copy of your social security card
  • A copy of your birth certificate

To prove that you are the parent or authorized representative of the child, please provide copies of one of the following documents:

  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate
  • A copy of a court order
  • A copy of a legally executed and valid power of attorney
  • A copy of a foster family placement certificate

To validate the identity of the child, please provide copies of the following two documents:

  • A copy of the child’s social security card
  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate

Once you establish a safety freeze, it stays in place until the child decides otherwise, over the phone or by mail. They will not be able to create an account online until they are 18 years old.

Here’s an additional thought: Consider freezing the credit of older and vulnerable family members as well.

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