What’s your kid’s credit score?


/rant on

I stumbled on an article and a link the other day.  

The article was on the continued rise of identity theft.  No big shock there.  This is big money.  Steal someone’s identity, rack up huge debt, ruin their life and then run like hell.  Yup.  Really nice folks.

But in the article it talked about something that really shocked me.

Apparently, the area of identity theft that is seeing a big spike is theft of children’s identities.  And I don’t mean college kids.

I’m talking about elementary age, toddler and even younger.

WTF?!?!

The idea here is that some upstanding human being, steals the identity (preferably the SSN) of some child who isn’t even able to walk yet, and racks up tens of thousands of dollars in debt on that child’s identity.   

It’s gotten so bad, that there are companies out there that specialize in checking the credit status of your kids.

Case in point:  http://freechildscan.allclearid.com/

While I blame the jackwagons that are out there doing this, I’m sorry, but the credit card companies, banks and other financial institutions that comply with this (don’t kid yourselves, the are at least semi willing accomplices) are just as much to blame.

When someone applies for a credit card, how tough it is to check the age of the person associated with a Social Security Number? 

Not very.  It’s actually pretty easy, and I don’t have access to all the fancy tools big companies can use.

“Gee, I wonder why this 2-year-old child is applying for a Platinum Card and asking for a 50,000 limit? Hmmm, something seems a little ‘off’ here.”  

Wow!  Do ya’ think?

I mean come on people?  How hard is it?  

“Gosh Mr. Banker.  Did you ever wonder why a 18-month-old child is applying for a 300,000 home loan?  No?  Do you think maybe you should have?”

The problem seems, in part but not entirely, that the credit lenders are far too eager to offer credit.  If they did a title due diligence maybe the identity thieves wouldn’t be so easer to try this.

Wonder how bad it is?  Several years ago, my wife and I tried an experiment.  We went to a store and filled out one survey, just one, with the name of one of our cats.   We wanted to see what other junk mail we’d get.  You know, coupons, other stores…etc.

Well, about 2 months later, a “pre-approved” credit card offer came to our house for Gabby Knupp.  Yup.  Apparently our cat was pre approved for a 10,000 line of credit with a company that shall remain nameless.  

Dang, and she didn’t even have a job yet.

Really?  A cat?  Pre approved?  Really???  

Now I don’t honestly think the cat could have received the credit card.  I mean come on, her paw weren’t even big enough to hold the pen to sign the application.  What get’s me is the “shotgun” tactic here.

I can’t imagine what sort of person could so willingly wreck the life of a child as to use their SSN to buy “stuff” and then ruin their credit rating.

I equally can’t imagine a society that #1 places so much emphasis on credit score so as to have this a possibility and #2 allows both the credit reporting AND lending industries to NOT check that a person is even 18 before they can get credit and thus wreck their life.

Sheesh.

So folks, here’s the deal.  Check out your kid’s credit score.  It’s never too late to start nurturing his 800 score.  

And besides, her score might be better than yours.

/rant off

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