IDT911: How to Monitor College Students’ Credit Scores
Parents spend years guarding their children from scrapes and cuts. However, some of the biggest damage done to their children’s well-being could come from identity theft. As parents send their children off to college, they should continue to protect their kids by monitoring their credit scores.
The average credit score for consumers age 18 to 24 is about 630, according Credit Karma. However, college students’ scores could be lower than this if they had their credit damaged by identity thieves. Once thieves have young people’s sensitive information, including their dates of birth and Social Security numbers, they could open new lines of credit that could lower their creditworthiness and cause problems down the line as they try to obtain a loan or apartment.
Here are ways to properly monitor your college student’s credit score:
Request a Free Credit Score
To make sure their children’s information is safe, parents should encourage their children to request their credit reports while in college. They can check their credit report for free on annualcreditreport.com every 12 months, according to Equifax. facebook is down . The credit report can be from each of the three main credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Inspect Report for Strange Credit Activity
Parents can also make sure their children are aware of suspicious activity that could indicate identity theft. College students should look for signs that someone else opened a new account, such as collection notices and hard inquiries. When there is a hard inquiry on a credit report, it usually means that someone else has applied for new credit and a creditor has permission to check a credit score in order to grant new credit.
Correct Credit Report
In case there is inaccurate information on their children’s credit report, parents can also take steps to correct these credit details. After checking their credit, college students should submit a letter or fill out an online form to the credit reporting firm describing the parts of their credit report they think is wrong, The Federal Trade Commission suggested. Students should also provide proof of their claim and provide as much information as they can to support their credit dispute.
Provide Tips to Prevent Identity Theft
Parents can also offer their children information on protecting themselves from identity theft. These tips include never giving their personal information out by unknown callers and not carrying around sensitive information like their Social Security card, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
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