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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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Can a parent legally apply gain credit in the name of their

Customer Question

Can a parent legally apply for and gain credit in the name of their minor child?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

No, they can't. It's identity theft and fraud to sign someone else's name on a credit application. The child could press criminal charges, depending on how much time passed before they found out about it. The child could ALSO sue the parent for any money that was spent as a result of the parent's actions. The statute of limitations for a civil suit doesn't start to run until the child turns 18, because a minor child cannot bring a lawsuit without the parent's help. It's also possible to notify the credit card company that NONE of these cards were authorized and ask them to open a fraud investigation. You should just be aware that the credit card company could choose not to help if there is no police report filed.

An alternative, for a child who didn't want to sue their parent (or have him/her arrested) is to try to negotiate a resolution where the parent pays for anything bought with the credit card, closes out the card, and pays a sum adequate to repair any damage done to the child's credit.

Also, if you haven't already, contact Experian, TransUnion and Equifax to put a hold on any new credit accounts in your name and to dispute any negative marks on your credit. You can get a free copy of your credit history from www.annualcreditreport.com if you want to verify whether there are more accounts you might not know about.

It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Thank you.

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