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Resources > Education Center > TransUnion Child Identity Theft Protection—Key Security Services Explained

TransUnion Child Identity Theft Protection—Key Security Services Explained

Credit fraud is among the main motives behind child identity theft. Millions of dollars are lost to this crime every year, mainly as a result of inadequate ID protection and credit monitoring.

Every credit bureau offers a set of security measures to help you keep your child safe from fraud. This article focuses on TransUnion child identity theft protection to outline the options available to parents and their children. You’ll also learn about an alternative that is worth investing in if you need comprehensive security.

Why Seeking Help From TransUnion May Be a Wise Move

As one of the three major consumer credit bureaus, TransUnion plays a crucial role in your child’s credit journey once they’re old enough to start it. It gathers all relevant information about their credit history and can help ensure it’s managed wisely.

Specifically, TransUnion can limit access to your child’s credit profile so that their information doesn’t fall into the hands of fraudsters or identity criminals. The credit bureau also offers several services aimed at protecting the child’s identity and dealing with the consequences of identity theft.

How TransUnion Helps Safeguard Your Child’s Identity

Whether you’re proactively securing your child’s identity or have reason to believe they’ve already fallen victim to fraud, TransUnion might be able to help through the following services:

  1. Child Identity Theft Inquiry
  2. Protected Consumer Freeze
  3. Fraud Alert
  4. TrueIdentity

TransUnion Child Identity Theft Inquiry Form

Most minors don’t have a credit profile, so the existence of one is often a tell-tale sign of identity theft. TransUnion lets you see if this is the case through an online Child Identity Theft Inquiry form.

When you fill out and submit the form, the credit bureau will search for a credit file under the child’s Social Security number (SSN). If they find one, and your child doesn’t have a legitimate credit history, it likely means someone used your child’s SSN to obtain credit.

In this case, TransUnion will reach out via the email address you gave them and suggest the next steps. You might be asked to submit additional information, so the bureau recommends replying to the email you receive promptly.

Protected Consumer Freeze

Freezing a credit profile makes it inaccessible to new lenders, which prevents the opening of new credit accounts. This means that anyone trying to apply for a loan using the child’s SSN will be rejected because the lender won’t be able to do a credit check.

While you can freeze your own credit profile online, doing it for a child is more complicated. If they’re 15 or younger, you must submit a written Protected Consumer Freeze request alongside the following:

  • Proof of your identity, as well as the child’s
  • Proof of authority/parentage (the child’s birth certificate, power of attorney, etc.)

Minors who are 16 and over must submit the request in their own name unless they’re incapacitated. They also need to provide the following documentation:

  • SSN
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • TransUnion file number (if applicable)
  • Current address (alongside the previous one if they’ve lived at the current address for less than two years)

Regardless of who files the request, it should be mailed to the following address:

TransUnion

P.O. Box 380

Woodlyn, PA 19094

Note that while a freeze may prevent fraudulent loans, it also means your child can’t obtain legitimate ones while it’s active. You (or the child) will need to lift it when the time comes for them to start building their credit history.

Most importantly, the freeze doesn’t extend to the other two credit bureaus (Equifax and Experian), so you’ll need to request it from them separately.

Fraud Alert

Unlike a credit freeze, a fraud alert doesn’t make a credit profile inaccessible—it only warns lenders to take extra precautions and verify the credit applicant’s identity before approval. It’s still a useful security measure that can be used either proactively or after fraud has been detected.

The problem is, TransUnion currently doesn’t let parents place a fraud alert in a minor child’s name, so this option is only available if your child is a legal adult and can request an alert themselves.

Other credit bureaus, such as Experian, allow fraud alerts for minors who are 14 and over, so you can contact them if you’d like to place it. Credit bureaus notify one another of fraud alerts, so requesting it from one bureau is enough.

TrueIdentity

TrueIdentity is TransUnion’s identity protection product encompassing several useful security measures, most notably:

  • Credit lock—A credit lock serves the same purpose as a freeze but is more convenient, as it can be done online without forms or requests
  • Credit monitoring—TransUnion monitors the user’s credit activity and notifies them about any changes
  • Instant Alerts—An Instant Alert is sent to a user if someone tries to obtain credit using their information

Your child must be at least 18 to use TrueIdentity, which means that you can’t create an account in their name or safeguard a minor’s identity with this product.

You should also note that TrueIdentity costs $39.95 for a monthly ($479.40/y) or $379.95 for an annual subscription. Protecting your child from birth to adulthood (18 or 19 years) with TrueIdentity would cost you between $6,839 and $8,629.

Alternatives to TransUnion’s Security Measures

While TransUnion offers some helpful services, most of them might not offer adequate protection—especially if your child is a minor. This is a major drawback, as minors’ identities are more tempting to fraudsters than adults’ exactly because of the lack of careful monitoring.

The most effective method of securing your child’s identity with TransUnion is a Protected Consumer Freeze, as it’s the only measure you can take proactively before your child is old enough for other services. It’s still a time-consuming and restrictive option, which makes it less appealing.

Besides, TransUnion mostly concerns itself with the financial impact of identity theft, which makes sense considering it’s a credit bureau. The issue is that not all ID fraud is financially motivated, and credit bureaus can’t do much if your child’s identity is stolen for purposes beyond defrauding lenders.

With all of the above in mind, you need more comprehensive identity protection to keep your child out of harm’s way. If you want a feature-rich product covering various aspects of ID security, check out FreeKick.

FreeKick—Identity Protection, Credit Building, and Credit Profile Monitoring

FreeKick launches your children into adulthood with the dual advantages of strong credit and a clean protected identity — not only does it build a credit profile, but it protects it as well. FreeKick includes a comprehensive set of services that monitor, protect, and restore the identities of your family members. FreeKick provides identity protection services for up to two adult parents and six children aged 0 to 25.

ID Monitoring for Children Ages 0–25 (Coming Soon)

When you create a FreeKick account, the risk of fraud drops significantly because your child’s identity will be safeguarded by various services.

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 cover:

  • 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

How FreeKick Builds and Monitors Your Child’s Credit Profile

FreeKick’s security measures don’t stand in the way of your child’s credit profile — it can establish and build it for your child much sooner than they could on their own. If your child is between 14 and 25 years old, you can improve their creditworthiness

The process of building credit for your children is straightforward—all you need to do is open a FreeKick account and check the Activate Credit Building option in your profile dashboard. If your child is a minor, they will have to activate credit reporting once they become an adult (18 in most states), as credit bureaus don’t accept reporting for minors. The process is also simple—they just need to select Activate Credit Reporting on the profile.

Once the process is complete, FreeKick will report a credit account for $1,000 to all three major consumer credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. The report will include the account opening date, amount of credit, type of credit, and last 24 months of payment history, jumpstarting your child’s credit score.

Note that FreeKick does not impact your credit score or report.

Plus, FreeKick offers an optional monthly savings plan account feature that builds payment history for your children while you save. Every monthly savings deposit builds payment history for your children, accelerating your child’s credit-building progress. Monthly payment history determines over a third (35%) of your child’s FICO credit score.

With each 12-month term, your child’s credit profile improves and increases their future financial stability. By establishing a strong credit profile, your child can save over $200,000 throughout adulthood.

Get Started With FreeKick

FreeKick offers free premium identity protection services with an FDIC-insured deposit of $3,000, or heavily discounted annual subscriptions as low as just $49/yr to $149/yr with deposits ranging from just $10 to $2,000. Let’s take a closer look:

DepositAnnual Fee
$3,000$0 (Free)
$2,000$49
$1,000$99
$10$149

Every plan includes premium identity protection for up to six children and two parents and credit building for up to six children, regardless of the deposit amount. 

If you’re happy with your child having 12 months of credit history, you can close your account after the first term and get your deposit back. You can also cancel it before the 12-month period expires, but keep in mind that no credit can be reported on the child’s behalf if they’re a minor at the time of closure.

Place your child’s personal and credit information under close supervision while building their credit profile on autopilot—sign up for FreeKick today.