If your child, age 17 and under, receives a credit card application, you may have an identity theft problem. Many identity thieves prefer stealing children’s identities because they know it is likely to go unrecognized until they are 18 years old. That’s 18 years of abuse to a child’s name. Many children turn 18 only to find they have bad credit and creditors seeking payment for things of which the family are not even aware.
So, if your child gets an application, don’t just throw it away. First, shred the application as it often contains personally identifiable information. Then you should check to see if your child already has a credit file by contacting all 3 credit bureaus. If there are items on the credit file that you do not recognize, dispute them immediately. Also, remember to check other data bases such as utilities and the IRS. Good luck.