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Protecting Your Child’s Identity and Social Security Number from Theft

Facts to Know about Child Identity Theft

Babies can be victims of identity theft, a fact that parents do not realize. It is even more likely to happen than identity theft in adults. A recent report of Carnegie Mellon Cylab says that social security numbers that have never been used are highly valuable because thieves can use them with any date of birth and name.

The numbers that have been stolen are then utilized for purposes of illegal immigration and organized crime. The report further adds that the SS numbers of minors are so useful because there is no organized process at the moment that can check the name and date of birth of the original owner of the number. This means that for as long as the number has a clear history, any thief can attach a name and birth date to it. Once there is a violation, it can go unnoticed. Even credit reporting bureaus cannot detect it. For parents to be on guard about the possibility of their child’s Social Security number being stolen here are some important facts to know.


Scanned image of author's US Social Security card.

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1.) Children and adults are equally at risk of identity theft.

2.) As a parent, you should check your child’s Social Security number as early and as often as you can. Take note that the longer the theft uses your child’s number, the more complex the case becomes and the more difficult it is to resolve. If you wait for your child to get older before checking her number and you find out that your child is a victim of identity theft, your child may have a difficult time getting a job, renting an apartment or even obtaining a mobile phone plan.

3.) A child’s credit record is not cleaned up by the time they turn 18. This means that if a child grows up and is ready to use his Social Security to apply for accounts and for a credit check, he will still be held accountable for any debt and account linked to his number whether he incurred the account or not.

4.) Pre-approved offers for your child in the mail are possible signs of identity theft. Once you receive this, immediately investigate and do not disregard the situation.

5.) Family and friends as well as criminals are the most common perpetrators of identity theft. They use this for themselves or sell the numbers to the black market.

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Are Credit Unions Better than Banks for Loans, Checking Accounts?

Why Are Credit Unions Better than Banks?

Without the free checking and with the increasing fees of banks, you may benefit more from a credit union.
Credit unions basically have better deals on loans, checking accounts and other products compared to banks. And it is easier to join them at the present times because there are around 7,000 of them nationwide.

However, there are cases when you are only eligible for basic services. This means that you cannot have online banking or other perks that banks offer.

Credit unions are already beating banks nationwide because of their nonprofit nature and their members’ ownership. Because of this, they can offer the best possible deals says’s senior financial analyst Greg McBride.
Some credit unions also offer free checking which most banks today do not provide. Moreover, overdraft charges are cheaper on the average among credit unions. In addition, out of network ATM transactions are charged about 99 cents in credit unions whereas banks charge $1.41.

Aside from these benefits, a lot of credit unions belong to a network that allows customers to transact with other credit unions and withdraw funds from different ATMs all over the country.


Lincoln memorial cent, with the S mintmark of ...

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In terms of interest rates, credit union offer better rates. For example, a one year certificate of deposit is on the average paid at 0.7% whereas banks only pay 0.42%. For credit cards and loans, credit union rates are also much better with an average of 4.67% interest for vehicle loans compared to 5.47% charged by banks. Home equity lines of credit are at 4.16% in credit unions and 5.38% in banks.

A lot of people are also qualified to join credit unions. You can participate in a credit union that is affiliated with your employer or those that accept employees coming from different companies. You also have an option to join community credit unions which are open to people you work, live and go to school with in a specific area. Colleges and religious groups also have their own credit unions that you may be able to join.

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Increases in Consumer Spending May Point to Better Economy

Increase in US Consumer Spending

Consumer borrowing in the United States had its highest increase in three years during the month of July. At the top of the list is the rise in non-revolving credit which consists of student loans.

According to the Federal Reserve, the increase in credit amounts to $12 billion after an amended rise of $11.3 billion in the month of June. In a Bloomberg news survey, economists predict a gain of $6 billion. The growth in the number of non-revolving loans was the highest since the month of November back in 2001.

There is a huge decline in revolving credit. This shows that Americans may not be purchasing non-essential materials because of the lack of consumer confidence as the rate of employment stays low and income growth continuously declines. Increase in job availability and income may be needed to push household spending as well as recovery.

The gain in July was the highest since April of 2008 according to the figures of the Fed. The approximation of 32 economists in the Bloomberg survey stated that the gains will be at $1 billion to $17 billion after reporting a previous increase to $15.5 billion in June. The report of the Fed does not include debts taken by real estate which comprise of lines of credit for residential mortgages and home equity.

Economic Outlook
Chief Rupkey, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd.’s chief financial economist said that the consumer is trapped in the middle of a hard position which is not beneficial for the economic outlook. The total credit increase showed a non-seasonally adjusted rise of to $385.7 billion from $15.6 billion in the borrowing category of the federal government including school loans. The unadjusted figures also reflected minimal increases in non-revolving borrowing at finance companies, commercial banks and credit unions which may show an improvement in vehicle sales in this month.

Americans increased car purchasing in July. The sales in vehicles rose to 12.2 million yearly for that month from 11.41 million according to the data of the industry.

In the economic survey of the Fed’s Beige Book, the economy is growing at a slower pace in several regions because shoppers are limiting their spending and factories are restricting production.

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Interest Rates May Increase Affecting Mortgage Rates

Despite the struggle of European countries to control their debts, the European Central Bank increased their interest rate by 25%. This is for the purpose of fighting the escalating inflation. Many are questioning whether or not this will soon affect the United States.

If interest rates do go up, they may affect mortgage rates and any interest rates on loans. If interest rates do go up, then you may also see a negative effect on anyone who is trying to get loan approval with bad credit.

After Portugal requested for an international bailout, ECB increased its refinancing rate from 1% to 1.25%. This move shows the problem of the central bank to establish one monetary policy for a region consisting of 17 economies.

Portugal is joining Greece and Ireland in asking for a rescue package. Spain is facing challenges with a high unemployment rate of 20%. On the contrary, Germany is not feeling the struggle of the other countries because of their economic growth, strengthened exports and increasing employment rate.

According to ECB’s president Jean-Claude Trichet, controlling inflation is beneficial for all its member countries including those experiencing financial challenges. The bailout agreement requires that the struggling countries must fix their government funds and find ways to improve their economies.

The increase in interest rates is not final according to Trichet. Its further increase or decrease will be based on the inflation rate in order to stabilize price changes. ECB is worried that inflation rate may remain at its high level of 2.6%. This rate began in March and is far from the bank’s goal of a maximum of 2%. According to critics, increased inflation is caused by the rise in oil and food prices. These are factors that ECB’s policies cannot control because it is external to them. Trichet further added that the ECB is taking pre-cautionary measures to control the increasing prices from affecting wages and price increases.

ECB is tightening their monetary policies even if this puts more pressure on consumers struggling with mortgages in the collapsing real estate market. Many people tend to compare this with the U.S Federal Reserve’s policies and say that the U.S’ policies are more flexible. But, ECB is treading a different path than the U.S Federal Reserve. Unlike ECB, the U.S. Reserve has not yet shown any signs of increasing their rates from the current 0 to 0.25%.

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Payday Loans Scrutinized

With more American’s struggling financially, payday loans are coming under scrutiny for trapping the working poor in a vicious cycle of debt. Armen Keteyian reports.

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