Parents can freeze their child's credit, protect their identity

TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - A warning to parents: Thieves are not only looking for your information but they are targeting your kids’ information as well.

But parents have at least one way to fight back. It's something plenty of people are already doing.

As we’ve been telling people for weeks after the Equifax breach, you might want to consider a credit freeze. Turns out kids can get them and it's something you might want to think about.

The Equifax breach numbers were astounding. Personal information of around 143 million people was compromised. When you hear numbers like this you probably assume adults. But kids can be affected by a breach as well.

If crooks get a hold of your kids’ information, they could open a credit card, bank account, anything they could do with adult information.

When it comes to your child's credit, if you checked it today, hopefully they do not have a credit report, especially if they're under 18. If you find a credit report and there's something on it, investigate that immediately. If you don't find one, you can still ask for a credit freeze from two of the three major credit bureaus to freeze a child's credit report. That means no one can access their credit, apply for loans or credit cards.

You as a parent can unfreeze their credit when it’s time for things like bank accounts or student loans

Parents or guardian can freeze the credit on the Equifax and Experian credit bureaus. There is a third bureau: Trans Union.

That company does not allow the freezes for kids, unless they search the records and find a fraudulent file. If there's no issue, they won't freeze it.