FREEZE KIDS’ CREDIT TO GUARD AGAINST ID THEFT: ADVISES NC ATTORNEY GENERAL TO PARENTS
North Carolina Parents are now able to use security freezes to protect children’s credit
NC Parents now have a new tool to help protect their children’s credit from fraud according to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.
North Carolina House Bill 607 took effect January 1, 2016 and gives parents and guardians the ability to freeze the credit reports of all children under age 16.
“A security freeze locks down your credit report to keep identity thieves from opening accounts and racking up debts in your name,” Cooper said. “ID theft can strike victims of any age and now parents can protect their kids’ credit from the very beginning.”
In the past, the major credit bureaus have said that they could not freeze credit reports for minors who had not yet established any credit. The new law requires credit bureaus to create and freeze a child’s credit report upon request of a parent or guardian.
A security freeze or credit freeze is one of the best ways to keep criminals from being able to take out a loan or open a credit card in someone else’s name. A freeze blocks access to credit unless you have given your permission, meaning that a criminal who has stolen your child’s identity will not be able to use it to open new accounts.
How to get a security freeze for your children
- Request a security freeze for your child under age 16 by mail, by telephone, or online. Visit ncdoj.gov/creditfreeze for contact information.
- To lift a freeze permanently or temporarily, use the PIN or password established when setting up the freeze.
- It may cost up to $5 per credit bureau to place or lift a freeze on a child’s credit.
- A freeze is free if the child already has a credit report or has been a victim of identity theft.
North Carolina adults can freeze their credit reports for free online with each of the three major credit bureaus, with information available at ncdoj.gov. Once your credit is frozen, you can thaw it when needed to take out credit yourself.
For more tips on protecting your identity and cleaning up the damage ID theft can cause, visit ncdoj.gov or call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina.