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A word of credit card warning to everyone

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Parents, PLEASE don't open credit accounts with your kids' names and social security numbers attached to them. And kids, make sure your parents haven't done this.
Long story short, my boyfriend's mom passed away in a freak accident back in June. She had a credit card which she opened when my BF was a teenager. She used this card WAYYY too much, and ran up a huge balance. There was nothing in the estate to pay it off with, so it hasn't been paid on since she died. My boyfriend's name was also on the credit card, which he did NOT know. He never had a card in his possesion. He received no notice of the account from the company after they were notified that the primary card-holder died. Now it's showing up as a HUGE crater on my boyfriend's otherwise-perfect credit. Fortunately, he was a minor when the account was opened, so we're hoping that our lawyer (who does double-duty as my step-mom ) can fix it without too big a fight.

The moral of the story is, DON'T attach ANYONE'S name or social security number to ANY kind of credit account (card, loan, utility, ANYTHING) without their knowledge. Even if it's one of your kids, and you do it with nothing but good intentions. It may come back to bite them in the butt later on.
post #2 of 14
Wow! I'm glad things are working out for you guys where this is concerned. I didn't think people could do things like this. What an unpleasant surprise.
post #3 of 14
Yikes! I didn't even think it was possible to open a credit card in a minor's name...although I guess there are teenagers nowadays who have credit cards. I hope everything works out for you guys with this. How sad that his mother's death had to have such a negative after-affect.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, it hasn't worked out YET, but I think it will fine. My BF doesn't remember signing a thing, and when he called the company they said "I see you've been on this account since 1997," at which time he was 17.
Of course, my BF is going to the worst-case scenario that his mom had him sign something after he turned 18, and he didn't know what it was.
I'm sure her only intent was to have him on the card in case of an emergency or something, but still...he could be ruined financially if he signed ANYTHING after his 18th birthday.
I really hope this works out fine for him. I would hate for his credit (and possibly someday mine, if we get married) to be shot all to #@!! because of something he didn't even know about.

Again, I will reiterate....
Parents, if you have your kids' names on any credit at all, be VERY careful with it, LET THEM KNOW that they are on it, and, if possible, take them off of it before they turn 18. Or better yet, just don't put anything in your kids' names unless it's a college savings account or something like that...and even then, be very careful with it.
post #5 of 14
I once added my daughter to one of my cards when she was a teenager (so she could have a card to use when she went to Europe and so she could use it for emergencies). She was only added as a family member with authorization (never intended for her to be a "co-signer" - never supplied them with her ss#

This card showed up on her credit report! She wrote to the credit report company and had it removed.
post #6 of 14
Some of the things that these credit agencies can get away with are deplorable. You often wonder who protects us from them, especially when there are so many people out there who have no idea of these sorts of situations.
I hope this works out for your bf. Good luck!
post #7 of 14
I have an ex husband who took out credit cards before we got divorced and put my name on one of them.. I never used the thing.. The court ordered him to pay off credit cards in divorce. Come to find out he hasn't paid a dime on them. The creditors have been calling me in a different state, 4 years after the fact!! This guy was such a low life he cheated on me, stole all my belongings, and moved his girlfriend in my home before I could come to retrieve my stuff, I got myself and the cats out safely!! She married him right after the divorce was final!!! LOL I guess I can take him to court for contempt If it gets bad enough with the creditors.... I never signed for 1 card... I hate credit cards!!!
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnicat
Some of the things that these credit agencies can get away with are deplorable. You often wonder who protects us from them, especially when there are so many people out there who have no idea of these sorts of situations.
I hope this works out for your bf. Good luck!
The unfortunate answer is that NO ONE protects us from them. There are so many predatory lenders and creditors out there, and what they do (i.e. ruining people's financial lives) is perfectly legal. That our credit reports are practically Greek to most of us, and that we can only (and just recently) obtain free copies of OUR reports once per year - legal. And that WE have to jump through hoops if there is an error on our reports - also legal. Sad state of affairs, quite frankly.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by abbycats
I have an ex husband who took out credit cards before we got divorced and put my name on one of them.. I never used the thing.. The court ordered him to pay off credit cards in divorce. Come to find out he hasn't paid a dime on them. The creditors have been calling me in a different state, 4 years after the fact!! This guy was such a low life he cheated on me, stole all my belongings, and moved his girlfriend in my home before I could come to retrieve my stuff, I got myself and the cats out safely!! She married him right after the divorce was final!!! LOL I guess I can take him to court for contempt If it gets bad enough with the creditors.... I never signed for 1 card... I hate credit cards!!!

Ah, she sure picked a winner there. After seeing him do that to another woman he loved at some point, she should've been a bit questioning of his character.
post #10 of 14
I read somewhere that this is becoming a big issue. Parents are using their children's information to open credit cards, etc. When these kids come of age, their credit is trashed. This isn't the case when parents put their kid's name on a card so he can have it in case of emergency. The big issue is when people do this just to get more money/credit for themselves...to heck with their kids. It's identity theft of the worst kind.

Here's one article I found:
http://www.womensnet.net/Identity_Th...Your-Child.php
post #11 of 14
My ex's, ex step father has put all of his daughters names onto: phone bills and credits to use on him self, the youngest daughter is 10! and she still doesnt understand whats coming to her... all 3 daughters credits are now trashed, its really a wonder how he did it though!
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
The unfortunate answer is that NO ONE protects us from them. There are so many predatory lenders and creditors out there, and what they do (i.e. ruining people's financial lives) is perfectly legal. That our credit reports are practically Greek to most of us, and that we can only (and just recently) obtain free copies of OUR reports once per year - legal. And that WE have to jump through hoops if there is an error on our reports - also legal. Sad state of affairs, quite frankly.
And our government has only made it easier to screw the credit consumer. They seem to find any way possible to make the laws favor creditors. It's usery, flat out. The government is so far in the pockets of creditors and big business that you can't tell where one ends and the other begins. It's disgusting.
Also, this business of only being able to get a free copy of your credit report ONCE a year is BS. We should be able to check our credit ANY TIME we want, at no cost, and it shouldn't be counted against our credit ratings (checking your credit report CAN negatively effect your credit if done "too" frequently).


As for parents putting their kids' names on things, as long as the kid is a minor, it can be wiped from the kid's credit. But if the kid doesn't know it's been done, it can hang out there forever. Which is what happened to my BF.
And now we are going to have to go into a nice long legal fight with this company.
post #13 of 14
I just got my credit cleaned up - my ex had some cards on which I was just an authorized user. I was able to get these items off of my report. Meanwhike, HIS credit is still trashed
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whisker's mom
Wow! I'm glad things are working out for you guys where this is concerned. I didn't think people could do things like this. What an unpleasant surprise.
The sick thing is, this isn't the first time I've heard of it. About a year or two ago one radio show I listened too they were interviewing a guy that he discovered his mom did this. Only she was a single mom and needed the money. So she put herself up as the co-signer of the account, apparently forged her son's signature and began to start spending away. By the time this kid was 25 he had like $100K credit card debt.
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