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Resources > Education Center > Can I Change My Child’s Social Security Number? Parents’ Options Explained

Can I Change My Child’s Social Security Number? Parents’ Options Explained

Can I change my child’s Social Security number?” is a question that, unfortunately, is more common than you think. Finding out that someone has compromised or stolen your child’s identity is a distressing situation to find yourself in.

While you’re certainly not alone, you might panic and decide to change your child’s Social Security number (SSN) to restore and protect their identity. Whether this is possible depends on the individual, and this article will outline the conditions under which the Social Security Administration (SSA) is willing to issue a new number.

You’ll also learn what other steps you can take to remediate SSN or identity theft and minimize the risk of it happening again.

Is It Possible To Get a New Social Security Number?

An SSN is typically permanent because it’s used to track important information throughout the holder’s life, including the following:

  • Lifetime earnings
  • Social Security benefits
  • Federal loans
  • Credit history

It’s among the most crucial identifiers, so the SSA is quite strict when it comes to changing it. There are only five scenarios in which the SSA might issue a new number:

  1. Multiple people have been assigned the same number
  2. Family members have been issued sequential numbers, which is causing confusion
  3. The holder is being abused, or their life is in danger
  4. There are cultural or religious objections to specific digits in the SSN
  5. The individual is suffering ongoing harm as a result of identity theft, which no other remediation option can resolve

Note that the SSN change might not be approved only because a Social Security card is lost or stolen. Identity theft on its own may not be enough to let you request a new number—you must provide proof of recurring damage caused by the theft and show that you’ve exhausted all other options.

How To Get a New Social Security Number After Identity Theft

If your child is eligible for a new SSN, you can request it the same way you’d change your own. The only difference is that you must provide proof of custody so that the SSA knows you’re legally allowed to request the change.

An SSN replacement must be done in person. You can use the SSA’s locator to find the nearest office, after which you should schedule a meeting.

Make sure to bring your child with you and gather all the necessary documentation, most notably:

  • Identification documents for you and your child (photo ID, driver’s license, etc.)
  • Reports from relevant authorities confirming and elaborating on the theft
  • Proof of custody
  • Proof of citizenship/residence

The SSA will guide you through all the necessary steps, which may vary depending on your situation. Once you’ve filled out the necessary forms, your child should receive a new Social Security card and number.

Limitations of an SSN Change

If your child’s identity has been stolen, changing their SSN may not be enough to resolve the issue. The SSA states that if the theft resulted in credit problems, Social Security can’t fix this. Your child would only get a new identifier, but you’d still need to deal with any consequences of the theft.

The SSA recommends contacting the FTC and reporting fraud through their identity theft platform. They’ll give you a recovery plan and walk you through the necessary steps if you create an account.

You should also contact the three major consumer credit bureaus:

  1. Experian
  2. Equifax
  3. TransUnion

Another important step is to check if your child has a credit profile, which would mean that someone has obtained loans in their name. The only exception is if you’ve added your child as an authorized user of your credit card, in which case their credit profile might be legitimate.

Note that identity fraud isn’t always financially motivated. There are many stories of children’s identities being used for various crimes, so you’ll need to assess the specifics of the SSN theft and act accordingly.

What To Do After Changing the SSN

After your child has gotten a new SSN, you should take the necessary steps to keep their identity safe. Use the following precautions to reduce the risk of ID theft:

  1. Store the Social Security card safely
  2. Consider a security freeze
  3. Take advantage of identity monitoring services

Safeguard Your Child’s SSN

When you receive your child’s Social Security card, store it in a safe place and make sure it’s not easily accessible. The SSA advises against carrying the card around routinely, so don’t take it out of the house unless necessary.

As your child grows up, teach them to do the same and keep their private information to themselves. One of the main reasons fraudsters target children is that they’re impressionable, so instill a healthy dose of skepticism in your child. Make sure they reach out to you if anyone asks for their SSN, even the people they know.

Determine if a Security Freeze Makes Sense

Freezing a child’s credit profile is a popular way for parents to try to prevent financial fraud against their children. A frozen credit profile can’t be accessed by new lenders, which can prevent fraudulent accounts in the child’s name.

The problem is, the child can’t build a legitimate credit history while the freeze is active. This might be an issue if your child has entered their teens and you want them to get a head start by building credit early.

Besides, requesting a credit freeze can be time-consuming—you must do it with each credit bureau separately by filling out appropriate forms and mailing them alongside the necessary documentation to the following addresses:

Credit BureauMailing Address
ExperianExperian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013
EquifaxEquifax Information Services LLC, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348-5788
TransUnionTransUnion, P.O. Box 380, Woodlyn, PA 19094

If you want to avoid these limitations while keeping your child’s identity safe, ID monitoring services can be a solid option.

Sign Up for Child Identity Monitoring

Keeping your child’s identity safe is a serious endeavor and often not a one-person job. You’d need to make it an ongoing part of your already busy life and stay on a constant lookout for red flags.

To save yourself a significant amount of time and energy, you can sign up for paid monitoring services. This way, you can outsource ID security to a team of professionals, thereby drastically reducing the chances of identity theft.

You can choose from various providers, though most require a monthly subscription—and an average parent is already swamped with them. If you need an option that won’t stress your budget while providing comprehensive security, check out FreeKick. 

FreeKick—Identity Monitoring and Credit Building for Children and Young Adults

Powered by Austin Capital Bank, an FDIC member, FreeKick protects your family from identity fraud and builds credit for your children.

FreeKick includes a comprehensive set of services that monitor, protect, and restore the identities of your family members. It provides identity protection services for up to two adult parents and six children aged 0 to 25. Not only that, FreeKick reliably and safely builds credit for your children aged 14 to 25. This product enables credit building by saving, not spending, allowing you to demonstrate good financial habits to your children.

FreeKick’s ID Monitoring Services (Coming Soon)

FreeKick provides identity protection for both minors and adult children and parents. Every plan includes identity protection for up to two adult parents and six minor or adult children.

Identity protection services for adult children and parents include:

  • Credit profile monitoring
  • SSN monitoring
  • Dark Web monitoring for personal information
  • Up to $1 million identity theft insurance
  • Full-service white-glove concierge credit restoration 
  • Lost wallet protection
  • Court records monitoring
  • Change of address monitoring
  • Non-Credit (Payday) loan monitoring 
  • Free FICO® Score monthly
  • FICO® Score factors
  • Experian credit report monthly

Identity protection services for minor children include:

  • Credit profile monitoring 
  • Social security number monitoring 
  • Dark Web monitoring for child’s personal information 
  • Up to $1 million identity theft insurance 
  • Full-service white-glove concierge credit restoration 
  • Sex offender monitoring—based on sponsor parent’s address

Parent-Sponsored Credit Building and Credit Profile Monitoring

Your child will need good credit all throughout adulthood, and FreeKick can help them get started on the right foot. FreeKick establishes and improves your child’s credit history on autopilot.

Building credit is simple with FreeKick. As a parent, you select Activate Credit Building in your account dashboard when your child turns 14. Once your child becomes an adult (age 18 in most states), all they have to do is select Activate Credit Reporting.

When credit reporting is activated, a credit account for $1,000 will be reported to all three major consumer credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), and it’ll include the account opening date, amount of credit, type of credit, and last 24 months of payment history, jumpstarting your child’s credit score. FreeKick does not impact a parent’s credit report or score.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create an Account—Go to FreeKick.bank and choose your plan
  2. Set It and Forget It—Using a no-interest credit builder loan, FreeKick builds 12 months of credit history for your child without any ongoing action needed from you
  3. Keep Growing—When the 12-month term ends, you can renew it for another cycle and let FreeKick build up to 48 months of credit history for your child

If your child is a legal adult, FreeKick reports their credit history ongoingly. As credit bureaus don’t allow reporting for minors, your child must activate it upon becoming an adult.

FreeKick Pricing

FreeKick offers a plan for every budget.

With FreeKick, you can use the savings you already have for your children to protect them and build their credit or get started with just a $10 deposit and a small annual fee.

All plans include premium identity protection for two parents and up to six children and credit building for up to six children aged 14 to 25.

DepositAnnual Fee
$3,000$0 (Free)

FreeKick deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

FreeKick launches your children into adulthood with the dual advantages of strong credit and a clean, protected identity. Protect your entire family today from identity criminals—sign up for FreeKick.