Want to Freeze Your Child's Credit? Here's How It Works

A lot of people won’t freeze their kid's credit reports because they're not sure what happens after they do it. What happens after I send in my child's information? How do I know the credit freeze worked? How do I unfreeze a credit report?   

How Credit Freezes Work

When you freeze your kids' credit, this is a summary of exactly what happens.

1. The Credit Agency Creates a Blank Credit Report File

First the credit bureaus will try to find a file for your child. If one doesn't exist, which will be the case most of the time, they will create a blank credit report file.

2. The Credit Agency Freezes the File

Next, they'll place a freeze on that file. This is simply a status that tells the bureau how to respond to credit inquiries on your child's file. With the freeze in place, if someone, a financial institution for example, inquires about that your child's credit, the bureau will respond saying the file is frozen instead of providing the credit information in the file. This lets the financial institution know that they shouldn't allow a credit account to be opened in that name. 

3. Credit Agency Sends a Confirmation Letter

Next, the credit agency will send you a freeze confirmation letter. Each of the credit bureaus has a different format, but all of them will mail that letter to the mailing address you provided when you requested the freeze.

We’re posting redacted copies for the world to see. Below are copies of the freeze confirmation letters you will receive if you freeze your kid’s credit with us, or if you do it yourself. Same result … if you do it right!

Experian's Credit Freeze confirmation letter:

TransUnion's Credit Freeze Confirmation Letter:

Equifax's Credit Freeze Confirmation Letter:

How Do I Unfreeze a Credit Report?

When it's time to unfreeze your child's credit reports, you simply follow the instructions provided on the freeze confirmation letter. Basically you will need to provide the same information you provided in the initial freeze submission again, along with the PIN code sent in the letter (so hang onto it!).

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