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From Black Voices— Have you ever seen a friend take out a light bill in their 6-month-old baby’s name? What about your other friend, who goes to get their first credit card and finds out that they have a low credit score, a bad payment history and $10,000 in debt? Well, while we might be tempted to think that this only happens to “Shanequa nem,” the truth is that jacking up your child’s credit is apparently a growing trend all across America.

It is possible to use your child’s name to get loan or a new credit card. Or to have utilities turned on mainly because your age is not included as part of a credit check. So, that newborn baby of yours could end up owning a brand new car if you are unethical enough to use your child’s name and Social Security number on the loan application.

Another reason that it’s easy for parents to be tempted to use their children to get things they can’t afford is because you can do pretty much anything to someone if you have his or her Social Security number. Yes, folks, this is called “identity theft,” and it’s illegal. But the other hurdle in prosecuting such cases is that the child doesn’t usually find out they’ve been hurt until they are well into adulthood. And who’s going to turn on their mama and report her to the police?
Not only do some parents have a habit of using the identity of their underage children, some even turn to their children for help during adulthood. According to LeaseTrader.com, there has been a 30 percent increase in the number of cases of 21- to 28-year-olds co-signing to help their parents buy the things they want or need. “You used to rely on your parents to help you out or co-sign something,” said John Sternal, vice president of marketing and communications at LeaseTrader.com. “Today it’s a little bit of the opposite, since kids often have credit situations that haven’t been tarnished as much as their parents.” Continue Reading @ Black Voices!

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  • this is nothing new, sad to say.

  • The question we should be asking is why someone’s credit score is so important in today’s society. I can understand it being used for loans and credit card applications. But lately, pretty much everything requires a credit check–numerous employers, car rentals (even when paying in cash with huge deposit), home rentals, etc. Why do these people need to run credit checks when you’re paying upfront or not working around money?? Frankly, I think credit checks are becoming just another form of discrimination. Poor credit is not always about poor decision making. People should not be so judgmental of people with lower scores.

  • Love Child

    I am from South Africa, and I work for tv production company. And I could only get an account or loan or anything like that when I had been working for atlease 3 months. when I was still in varsity, i opened up an account, and my mom had to co – sign with me, and once I started working it was all on me.
    What I want to know, in America, how is it possible to apply for a credit card, etc with an infant’s name and security number. We need proof of income, proof of residence and 3 months bank statements before you are allowed such benefits…. smh!!

  • Tamara

    Glad someone has decided to at least talk about it but why are people just talking about this- this was a problem almost 40 years ago when folks I personally know were doing it to their children. Thankful to God that my Mother was a woman of ethics and never did this but she did tell me from the age of 8 or 10 never to ruin my credit name that it was important and there are a lot of things I may have forgotten in my 40 years but that one is definitely not one of them.