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Resources > Education Center > Child Identity Theft—Can Equifax Safeguard Your Child’s ID?

Child Identity Theft—Can Equifax Safeguard Your Child’s ID?

As the number of identity theft cases grows, parents are increasingly worried about their children’s safety and synthetic identities. Identity criminals have gotten quite skilled at stealing children’s personal information and using it to commit numerous crimes, so you should be proactive about protecting your young ones.

If you turn to credit bureaus for protection against child identity theft, Equifax might be able to help with its ID monitoring service and other security layers. The following offers an in-depth overview of your available options.

How Equifax Can Help Protect Your Child’s Identity

Like other major consumer credit bureaus (Experian and TransUnion), Equifax collects and manages your credit information to help creditors determine if you’re a reliable borrower. When your child meets the age requirements and other criteria for starting their credit journey, their information will be available to future lenders through the bureau.

Unfortunately, it will also be available to scammers if they get ahold of your child’s Social Security number (SSN) and other personal information. The identity criminal can then use the child’s identity to obtain fraudulent loans that will be connected to your child’s credit profile.

To help prevent this, Equifax offers the following security measures:

  1. Security freeze
  2. Lock & Alert™
  3. Paid identity protection products

Security Freeze

Freezing your child’s credit profile makes it inaccessible to new lenders. This means that if someone inquires about a loan using the child’s identity, the lender won’t be able to do a credit check and should deny the application immediately.

If your child is under 16 years old, you can freeze their credit profile by filling out a Minor Security Freeze Request Form and mailing it to the following address:

Equifax Information Services LLC

P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348-5788

Equifax also requires proof of the following:

  • The child’s identity (copies of their birth certificate and Social Security card)
  • Your identity
  • Authorization/custody

Note that freezing your child’s credit profile with Equifax doesn’t extend to the other two credit bureaus. You need to contact them separately and follow their procedures for placing the freeze. That’s why many parents consider a credit freeze an inconvenient and time-consuming option.

It also means your child can’t build and improve their credit when the time comes unless their credit profile is unfrozen. This can be a significant obstacle if you want them to start building credit early in life.

Lock & Alert™

A credit lock is typically considered more convenient than a freeze because it can be done online. Equifax has a dedicated Lock & Alert™ app that makes it easy to place a lock if the user has an Equifax account.

A credit lock offers benefits similar to a freeze, but it also has its shortcomings. Much like a freeze, it doesn’t extend to credit bureaus or offer complete protection. Your child’s credit profile can still be accessed by various parties, most notably:

  • Local, state, and federal government agencies
  • Courts
  • Background screening companies
  • Collection agencies

A lock still makes a credit profile inaccessible to new lenders, so it does serve the main purpose of helping prevent fraud. 

The biggest downside of Lock & Alert™ is that you can’t request a lock in the child’s name. This option is only available if they’re over 18, in which case they can place it themselves.

Equifax offers a family product to help consumers safeguard their private information:

Equifax Complete™ Family Plan$29.95 per month

It offers several services aimed at preventing credit fraud, such as:

  • An annual 3-bureau credit report
  • Ongoing 3-bureau credit file monitoring
  • WebScan for detecting the trading of sensitive information on the Dark Web
  • Credit report lock and blocked inquiry alerts
  • Lost wallet assistance
  • $1 million ID theft insurance and stolen funds replacement

Equifax Complete™ Family Plan includes protection for up to four children, as well as services that provide adequate safety, so we’ll focus on this option separately.

Is Equifax Complete™ Family Plan Worth It?

If your child is a minor and can’t protect themselves using Equifax’s services, the Family Plan is your only option for securing their identity with this provider. Beyond the aforementioned features, you’ll get access to the following services:

  • SSN monitoring
  • Credit profile monitoring for children
  • Identity restoration

When you add a child to your plan, Equifax will search for a credit profile in their name. If there isn’t one, they’ll create the credit profile and protect it with their Credit Report Control Lock. The child’s credit profile will then be monitored for any red flags ongoingly.

Seeing as this plan costs $29.95 per month, it would cost you almost $360 per year and more than $6,000 to protect your child from birth to adulthood at age 18, that’s quite a high price to pay—especially since you may not get all the protection you need.

Why You Should Consider an Alternative to Equifax’s Services

While the options you’ve seen so far increase the overall level of your child’s ID security, they’re not bulletproof. A credit freeze and lock are quite restrictive, and the child’s credit profile is still accessible to various parties.

As for the paid services, investing in the Equifax Complete™ Family Plan may not make financial sense if you’re only looking to protect your child. For example, you might be using another service to monitor your own identity, in which case you’d end up overpaying for protection you don’t need.

Most importantly, credit fraud is only one of the many ways a criminal can use a child’s identity. You need more comprehensive security beyond measures related specifically to credit monitoring, which is what Equifax’s products primarily focus on.

To offer more comprehensive protection and reduce the chances of your child’s information falling into the wrong hands, Austin Capital Bank created a unique product—FreeKick (coming soon).

FreeKick—ID Protection and Credit Building for Minors and Young Adults

Unlike most identity monitoring services, FreeKick doesn’t bind you to multi-user plans. It offers dedicated protection for children by combining a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-insured (FDIC-insured) deposit account with:

  1. ID monitoring for children and adults
  2. Credit building and credit profile monitoring for children aged 14–25

Comprehensive Identity Monitoring (Coming Soon)

FreeKick provides identity protection for both minors and adult children and parents. Every FreeKick 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 
  • Social Security number 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

Social Security Number Tracing

A stolen SSN opens many doors to identity criminals, so FreeKick carefully monitors this identifier to detect true-name and synthetic identity fraud—a particularly dangerous form of identity theft.

All names, aliases, and addresses connected to your child’s SSN will be monitored ongoingly. You’ll also get a mapped view with the locations of all identities associated with the SSN so that you have more control over your child’s information.

CyberAgent Dark Web Monitoring

The CyberAgent surveillance system scans the web for compromised user data, most notably:

  • SSNs
  • National ID numbers
  • Driver’s license/passport numbers
  • Bank account information

FreeKick uses this advanced technology to help prevent the trading of your child’s personal information on the Dark Web, as this is where criminals typically obtain it.

Neighborhood Sex Offender Monitoring

You may have heard stories of sex offenders using children’s identities to conceal their own. Predators often register using stolen information to evade the law, and FreeKick reduces the risk of your child’s data being used for these purposes.

FreeKick identifies and tracks all registered sex offenders in your area to alert you if any registered under a different name is using your address. You’ll get a report if this happens so that you can take necessary action.

Full-Service ID Restoration With a $1 Million Insurance

No service is infallible, so having a contingency plan in case of ID theft is crucial. If your child’s identity is stolen, FreeKick will take over the restoration process and:

  • Investigate alerts and dispute fraudulent activity
  • Work on your child’s behalf to restore their identity

The good news? Expenses related to the ancillary restoration services are covered by FreeKick’s $1 million ID theft insurance, so you and your loved ones are protected. 

Additional Services for Young Adults

While minors are more frequently targeted by identity thieves than adults, your child’s independence might increase the risk of their information being lost or stolen. To offset some of that risk, FreeKick offers all of the above services to young adults alongside the following additional measures:

  • Lost wallet protection
  • Change of address monitoring
  • Payday loan monitoring
  • Court records monitoring

Parent-Sponsored Credit Building

A FreeKick account helps your child enter adulthood with an established credit profile, which comes with many benefits. Minors are typically unable to build a credit history, so FreeKick does it for them in three steps:

  1. Create an Account—Visit FreeKick.bank and choose a plan based on a one-time deposit that suits your budget
  2. Set It and Forget It—FreeKick builds a credit history for your child over 12 months using a credit-builder loan paid from the deposit. Repayments and all relevant information are reported to all three aforementioned credit bureaus. FreeKick also monitors your child’s credit profile to reduce the risk of errors or misuse
  3. Keep Growing—When the 12-month term ends, you can renew the account or cancel it and receive 100% of your deposit back


FreeKick enables you to 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—you can find more details in the table below:

DepositAnnual Fee
$3,000$0 (Free)

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

Note that a FreeKick account won’t impact your credit—all it does is establish and improve your child’s credit profile while monitoring it alongside other sensitive information. If you want to secure a more stable future for your child while having their identity closely overseen, sign up for FreeKick today.