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Types of Credit Reports:
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Credit Report Basics:
 -Ordering a Report Yearly
 -Common Questions
 -Determining Scores
 -Interpreting Reports
 -Disputing Errors
     --more basics

Credit Achieving Tips: 
 -Improving Credit Scores
 -Building Credit
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Credit Scoring Blunders:
 -Late Payments
     --more mistakes

Identity Theft:
Identity Theft Basics
 -Credit Card Theft
 -Kids & Identity Theft
 -Seniors & Identity Theft
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 -Privacy Questions to Ask

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Did you know that child identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes i America? In fact, according to FTC (Federal Trade Commission), over 450,000 kids have their identities stolen every year.


Children are easy targets for two main reasons:
  1) Kids have clean credit
  2) The identity theft usually goes undetected for years, until the child looks to obtain some sort of our credit on their own.

Is it a good idea to get a copy of my child's credit report regularly?
Unless you believe that your child may be a victim of identity theft, there is no reason to pull your child's credit report annually. In fact, your child should not even have a credit file unless an identity thief has already started abusing their credit by illegal use of the social security number.

*** Ordering a credit report will generate a credit file, opening the door of vulnerability for abuse of your child's identity.

What can I do to prevent my child's identity being stolen?
  -- Do not give anyone your child's SSN or birth certificate, not even a copy. The number one culprit of children identity theft are family members! Here a list of instances when your child's SSN is required to be disclosed.
  -- Destroy all documents and paperwork that has copies of SSN by shredding them, not just tearing.
  -- Never keep your child's social security card in your pocket. Only be in possession of this document when you are certain that you will need it.
  -- If you can, utilize a lock-and-key mailbox. Leaving outgoing mail in an open, unattended mailbox is very dangerous, especially if you live in a multi-family house or apartment building. Receiving mail in this manner is equally as dangerous.
  -- Kids in college should have their mail sent to their parents home since it is very common that they change addresses every year. This frequent moving makes it routine practice for credit card companies to send card offers to one of the older residencies.
  -- Educate your children about not giving out any of their (or family members) personal information over the Internet or phone..


What are the red flags for children's' identity theft?
-- Contact from collections agencies regarding credit cards and/or bills in your child's name.
  -- If you start receiving pre-approval credit card offers for your child. This is especially a red flag if your child does not have a bank account.
  -- As mentioned, it is very common for family members to be the criminal in children's identity theft. So, if you receive a call from a relative, and your child's name is on the called ID, you can be certain that this family member has stolen your child's identity and in the very least is using it to get phone service. An ex-boyfriend or wife should always be closely watched.
  -- Letters stating that your child owes money for taxes, tickets, or that there are warrants in their name.
  -- Denial of governmental benefits because of 'income, already getting benefits' or there is a request to 'verify his/her job' and your child does not receive benefits and/or has never had a a job.
  -- A letter from the IRS stating that your child's social security number and/or name has already been filed on another tax return.

How can I get a copy of my child's credit report?
If you feel that your child has been a victim of identity theft, get a copy of their credit report immediately. We suggest that you either obtain a 3-in-1 report or enroll your child in the credit monitoring program. Learn more about credit reports

Additional Reading:
Teach your kids how to manage their finances!
Helping kids understand credit cards
How to keep your child's Social Security Number safe
Computer Viruses

No credit tips:

Do you have a child that is in their teens? Are you looking to build their no credit history into a positive one? We feature an article that teaches people how to build their credit.

Star Loan services also offers car loans for people with no credit. These loans are ideal for kids looking to establish their credit ratings.



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